Errors cost Hawks chance at toppling Bulldogs

Shawano allows 6 unearned runs
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Leader photo by Chris Caporale Shawano sophomore Bayleigh Laabs fields a grounder at second base and attempts to flip it to Brianna Zook to get an out. Shawano committed four errors on defense, accounting for six unearned runs for New London in an 8-2 home loss Tuesday.

Four unearned runs in the second inning for New London turned out to be more than enough support for pitcher Leah Porath as Shawano fell 8-2 at home on Tuesday.

The Hawks, who needed a victory for a chance to tie for first in the Bay Conference, let the game slip out early.

A throwing error on shortstop Brianna Zook on Kali Rohan’s hit allowed two runs to score, and then McCoy Mix hit a two-run double to left-center, doubling the lead.

The Hawks also had two errors in the third inning, which led to another run, and then the team’s fourth error came in the sixth inning, just before the Bulldogs scored their final two runs of the game.

Shawano head coach Brian Johnson said his team wasn’t phsyically ready to make those plays.

“That’s on me,” Johnson said.

New London tallied just one more hit than the Hawks in the game, but clean defense by the Bulldogs prevented Shawano from cutting into the deficit.

New London center fielder Kate Christian made a diving catch to rob Sarah Petry of a hit in the sixth inning, and the second baseman Erin O’Connell made a sliding stop in the hole and shot down Gracyn Habeck’s attempt to begin a comeback.

Shawano had to put the plays behind it and focus on continuing to get the bat on the ball.

“I’m not worried about hits,” Johnson said. “We want quality at-bats.”

Kate Hoffman singled and Saige Henning was hit by a pitch after Habeck, but then a groundout to third base by sophomore Bayleigh Laabs ended the game.

New London knew that even holding a six-run advantage, no lead is safe against Shawano, which had overcome a six-run deficit in the final inning to beat Seymour earlier this season.

“They are a good hitting team,” New London head coach Tony Porath said. “We couldn’t relax until we had the final out.”

Emilee Bastar got the start for Shawano, pitching 1 2/3 innings. She allowed two hits and four runs, none of which were earned. Bastar was pulled from the game with a hand injury that prevented her from gripping the ball completely.

Erin Cerveny entered to get Leah Porath out. She gave up two earned runs over the final 5 1/3 innings and six hits.

Porath, the conference’s leader in earned run average entering the game, worked in the circle for the Bulldogs, allowing seven hits and one earned run while striking out one batter.

“She changed up her speeds just a little bit,” Johnson said.

Henning went 3 for 3 at the plate and scored one of two runs for the Hawks. Brandi Gueths drove in Henning on a single. Erin Cerveny, Sarah Petry and Hoffman were the only other players to record hits for Shawano.

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E

New London 0 4 1 0 0 3 0 8 8 1

Shawano 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 2 7 4