GLADBROOK - Chelsea Ahrens was happy with her team's performance Tuesday night, but also disappointed with the result.
Ahrens' South Tama softball team may have played its best game of the 2012 season, but a mistake and costly error doomed the Trojans. They fell to Gladbrook-Reinbeck, 2-1, in the bottom of the seventh inning.
"For how well we played, to come out on the losing end stings," Ahrens said. "We just made a key error at the wrong time."
South Tama’s Madison Baack, right, throws an easy toss to Trisha Walz to record an out during Tuesday’s game at Gladbrook-Reinbeck. STC lost the game 2-1 to the Rebels.
Gladbrook-Reinbeck went to bat in the bottom of the last inning with the game tied, 1-1. The Rebels first batter hit a line drive to center field. The ball was bobbled, allowing the runner a chance at second base. The Trojans' throw was just late, giving the Rebels player a double.
The next batter bunted, but the ball popped up in the air. Three STC players charged at it, but it fell off of the glove of one of the players. A quick throw to first base sailed over the head of the Trojans' first baseman and the runner from second base scored the winning run.
"They got the extra base on that first hit," Ahrens said. "We didn't do a very good job of getting the ball in from the outfield very quickly. We had a miss-communication, but we need to get that ball in quicker."
Neither team could muster much offense throughout most of the game. Both teams stranded runners during the game, but the Rebels struck first with a run in the fifth inning. A throwing error allowed the runner to get on base an she later scored on an RBI double.
"Defensively, they had runners at second and third a couple of times and we got out of it," Ahrens said. "That's key to get out of those situations. We have to shut the door on them like that."
South Tama responded in the next inning. Trisha Walz started the inning with a single. The next two batters recorded outs, but Walz advanced to second base on a passed ball. With two outs, Jenn Maus hit a groundball single that scored Walz, tying the game 1-1.
"It was nice to see them respond and tie the game," Ahrens said. "Trisha got on base and Jenn made a great hit to send her home."
STC almost scored another run or two later in the sixth. Samantha Holtz was was walked after Maus, giving STC two base runners. Jade Rohach hit a blooper into short left-center field that was tracked down by the left fielder, who made a shoe-string catch to end the inning.
"If that left fielder drops that ball, two runs probably score on that," Ahrens said. "We had speedy runners on base."
Ahrens was proud of how her team played Tuesday.
"The girls battled," Ahrens said. "This is probably the best game we've played all year, as far as all around play. Our batting wasn't great, but our pitching and defense were very good.
"I hope the girls do see that this is the type of team we are capable of being every night," she said. "Last year, we played a great game and then take one off. We don't want that to happen. We have to go out and play like that every night."
On Monday, the Trojans hosted AGWSR and lost 8-1. The game was 1-0 through three innings, but one bad inning for the Trojans sealed the deal. The Trojans allowed seven runs in the fourth inning and eventually lost 8-1.
"It was 1-0 for the longest time and then they score six runs in one inning," Ahrens said. "We gave up three walks and had one error that cost us the game."
South Tama hosts South Hardin on Friday. The junior varsity contest starts at 6 p.m. with the varsity to follow at 7:30 p.m.