By Josh Bronson
Pilot staff writer
In their final regular season home game of the year, the Brookings-Harbor High School softball team hung with the top-ranked South Umpqua Lancers for seven innings, but fell 10-5 Tuesday afternoon.
"I'm really proud of how we battled against a very tough team," Coach Steve Padilla said. "We showed that we can play right with them."
With the win, South Umpqua remained undefeated in league play, while the Bruins still sit in second place.
On Friday, the Bruins will battle Sutherlin in the final doubleheader of the year. Depending on how Sutherlin fared Tuesday, the Bruins will most likely have to sweep the Bulldogs to take second place in league and earn a home playoff game.
"We just want to go out there and show what we're capable of," Padilla said of the final league games of the year. "We plan to go over there, hit the ball hard, have strong defense and solid pitching and I think everything will take care of itself."
After retiring the Lancers in order in the first inning, South Umpqua came back and tallied three runs in the second inning.
Jennifer Sirchuck put the Bruins on the board in the bottom of the second as she crushed a gargantuan triple over the head of the center fielder, easily scoring Brooke Blofsky from second, who led off the inning with a double.
The Lancers padded their lead in the third as they added three more runs, capped off by a two-run home run by Lindsey Goodson.
Trailing 6-1, the Bruins began to chip away at the Lancer lead with a single run in the bottom of the third.
Jillian McCool started the rally with a single and then Lancer pitcher Triana Crane walked Kara Miller and Jessie Goergen to load the bases.
Two batters later, Ciara Freeman drew a walk to score McCool and cut the lead to 6-2.
In the fourth, McCool hit an RBI triple to the wall, scoring Vanessa Meirer from second.
South Umpqua tacked on two more runs in the fifth, but the Bruins matched the Lancers with a pair of runs in the bottom of the inning.
Freeman cut the lead to three with a two-run single that scored Goergen and Blofsky, bringing the score to 8-5.
But the Bruins couldn't manage to score after the fifth inning and the Lancers added two more runs in the seventh to walk away with a 10-5 victory.
McCool, Blofsky, and Sirchuck each had two hits apiece while Freeman and Breanne Manley each recorded one hit.
Freeman drove in three runs for the Bruins while Goergen drew three walks on the day.
Tuesday's game was also senior night as five Bruins Jamie Kay, Blofsky, Miller, Goergen and Sirchuck played in their final regular season home game.
"It's been great having these five seniors and we're going to miss them," Padilla said. "They have a lot to be proud of with their careers here."
The Bruins doubleheader against Sutherlin on Friday, May 9, will start at 3 p.m.