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Softball team posts 1st loss

Bill Pribisco | for the Ligonier Echo
Ligonier's softball player Brittany Lynch (4) warms up before batting in the recent game with Blairsville. This photo was taken on 4/22/2013 By Bill Pribisco at Donaldson Field Ligonier

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By Peter Turcik
Wednesday, May 1, 2013, 9:30 p.m.

In a close-fought battle, the Ligonier Valley softball team suffered the team's first loss of the season 1-0 to Blairsville. Head coach Mark Zimmerman said the Rams played a strong defensive game, but were unable to take advantage of any offensive chances.

“(Loses) never feel very good,” Zimmerman noted. “We pitched pretty well, made some real good plays defensively; we just couldn't get anything going on offense. We had a couple of chances and we squandered them. That's the way it goes sometimes. You pick back up and keep going. It's certainly not the end of the world.”

The only run of the game was scored in the fifth inning. It was an unearned run that came as the result of an error. Blairsville pitcher Emily Okapal threw 12 strikeouts and allowed only two Rams hits in the game, which both came from Rachel Wallace.

“Okapal does a nice job. You have got to give her credit,” Zimmerman said.

Hailey Umbaugh pitched the entire game, striking out five batters and giving up only two hits. As a testament to Ligonier's defense, right fielder Rachel Wallace threw out two batters, one at home plate and one at first base.

Three days later the Rams bounced back from the loss, beating Purchase Line 10-0 in only four innings. This win brings the team's conference and season record to 5-1. Ligonier scored two runs in the first inning, four in the second, and two each in the third and fourth. Maddy Grimm went three for four, hitting two singles and a triple, with one RBI. Breanne Wallace also hit a double, and Umbaugh batted in three runs.

Umbaugh pitched four innings, throwing nine strikeouts and only giving up one hit. Jackie Berry relieved Umbaugh in the fifth, striking out two more batters.

The Lady Rams will play host to Homer-Center Junior/Senior High School at 5 p.m.

Peter Turcik is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.

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