KIRKLAND, Wash. - Uncharacteristic play continued to haunt the Escanaba Junior (age 13-14) girls Thursday at the Junior League Softball World Series. Plagued by errors, the Escanaba All-Stars dropped their third straight game to host Kirkland, Wash. 8-4.
"It was just a combination of ground balls we didn't field and a couple mental errors," said manager Jamie Segorski.
Five of Kirkland's eight runs were unearned as Escanaba committed four errors, three in the seventh inning.
Escanaba had a chance to win going into the seventh as Kirkland held a 5-4 lead, but each Esky error led directly to a run and Kirkland led 8-4 going into the bottom of the inning.
"That just took the wind right out of us," said Segorski. "It was 5-4 going into the seventh, we had the middle of our order coming up so we were in a good spot. A couple errors cost a few runs."
Callie Heller was 4-4 at the plate and Mackenzie Leisner was 2-2 with a walk. Also collecting hits for Esky was Michelle LaFave, Katie Ross, Kayla VanPortfliet and J.J. Laviolette, each with one.
Sam Connor started the game on the mound for Escanaba, going three innings and allowing two runs. Ross relieved her and pitched the next two and Heller closed it out.
The three losses at the World Series have come after a 16-0 start in tournament play for Escanaba. Segorski attributed it to a number of things.
"It's hard to say, hard to pinpoint what the problems are. I'm sure it's a combination of a lot of things," he said. "The girls are thinking more about fall sports or home or all of the travel. You can come up with an array of reasons."
Escanaba still has two games remaining in the consolation bracket with games today at 4:45 p.m. EDT against West Haven, Conn., and Saturday at 11:30 a.m. EDT against an opponent yet to be determined.
"We can still place in the top five," said Segorski. "We have two games left and a chance to win them. That's what we're going to shoot for."