Wolverine softball team suffers tough loss to Owen

Published 5:19 pm Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Amber Lynch scoring the Wolverines’ fifth run, on a sacrifice fly by Katie Ruff. (photo by Mark Schmerling)

Amber Lynch scoring the Wolverines’ fifth run, on a sacrifice fly by Katie Ruff. (photo by Mark Schmerling)

“It came down to a play or two, (that could have gone) either way,” was Polk County High School varsity coach Jeff Wilson’s assessment after the Wolverines dropped a 6-5 nail-biter to visiting Owen yesterday.

Polk is 16-5 overall, and 9-5 in conference play.

Katie Ruff pitched her usual focused game, with most Owen batters swinging a bit late on her fastball. Ruff got some fine defensive support and some good hitting, but as Wilson mentioned, a couple of plays, and a questionable ball/strike call, shifted the results just enough for a scrappy Owen team to take advantage.

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The Wolverines came to bat in the home first with no score, but wasted little time jumping ahead. Leadoff batter Brittany Jones was hit by a pitch. She was erased at second on a fielder’s choice grounder by Hayley Kropp, but Shalyn Brown belted a double to left center, scoring Kropp. Cassie Couch struck out swinging, but Maddy Foy blooped a single behind third, to score Brown.

Owen fought back in the top of the second. The first batter drew a walk. A hard single just inside the third base bag made it first and second, but the next batter grounded into a force at third for the first out. Owen’s next batter drove a single to right center, scoring a run, but Polk’s alert defense wiped out the previous runner, who rounded second too far. A grounder and force at second kept the Wolverines ahead, 2-1, going into the home second.

Polk went down quickly in their half of the second, but Owen tied the game in the top of the third, on a sacrifice fly.

Owen took a 3-2 lead in the visitors’ fourth, when the leadoff batter timed one of Ruff’s fastballs, and dropped it just over the fence in left for a solo homer. Ruff bore down, retiring the next three batters.