The Warwick Vets softball team had no problem getting two outs on Tuesday afternoon against Bay View.
The problem was getting that third out, and every time the ’Canes failed to get it done, the Bengals made them pay.
Vets committed four errors as first-place Bay View scored nine runs over the first four innings, eight with two outs. The result was a 10-0, five-inning mercy-rule victory for the Bengals, and the 10th straight league loss for the ’Canes.
“We’re struggling, and what we’re doing this year is giving teams a lot of four and five-out innings,” Vets head coach Paul Kennedy said. “Against Bay View, they’re going to make it hurt.”
Bay View scored one run in the first, two in the second and one in the third before exploding for five runs in the fourth inning off Vets starter Naomi Franzen.
The ’Canes committed two errors in that inning and allowed five consecutive hits after retiring two of the first three hitters.
“In the inning where they scored most of their runs, we made an error to start the inning, and they took advantage of it,” Kennedy said. “That’s what good teams do. We’re still making some errors that we shouldn’t be making.”
Offensively, Bay View starter Kelsey Manfredi kept Vets at bay right from the first inning. She allowed two lone singles – one in the first, and one in the fourth – and nobody else even reached base. She struck out four batters, before MacKenzie Smith retired the side in order in the fifth, while striking out one.
Over the five innings, the ’Canes sent only 17 batters to the plate. Liz Iadevaia and Courtney Buratczuk had the team’s hits.
But Kennedy believes that any success the team has starts in the field. Without that, the hitting is irrelevant.
“It’s not good if you’re making lots of errors,” Kennedy said. “We know we’re not going to score 10 runs a game, but if we can score three or four, we need the defense.”
The Bengals opened up the scoring when Brigid Flaherty singled to start the game, advanced to second a sacrifice bunt and came around on a two-out single by Margaret Trosin.
In the second, Courtney McArthur singled and Kelsey Manfredi reached on an infield error. After a sacrifice bunt put runners on second and third with two outs, Flaherty knocked in two runs with a two-out double, making the score 3-0.
Bay View added one more run in the third on an RBI groundout by McArthur, which scored Shannon McArthur and put the Bengals out in front 4-0.
“Bay View is very good,” Kennedy said. “Lincoln is the best, but Bay View is in the group right below them. They’re very good.”
In the fourth, with the ’Canes still in the game, Bay View put it away.
Flaherty led off, and on the third pitch she hit a pop fly behind home plate. Catcher Sabrina Cain got under it, but couldn’t squeeze it, and the ball fell to the ground for an error. Three pitches later, Flaherty lined a ball into left field for a single.
Franzen buckled down to retire the next two batters, but Bay View once again rallied with two outs.
It strung together hits from Trosin, Christina Brazeau, Rachel McAteer, Courtney McArthur and Smith, and Bethany Fogerty reached on an error. Five runs crossed the plate, all of which were unearned.
“The (eight) runs were all with two outs,” Kennedy said. “So they know it, they know we could have been out of the inning. There is a little of that, ‘Here we go again,’ and it’s so tough to change that.”
Needing just one run to end the game in the fifth because of the mercy rule, Bay View got consecutive singles from Krista Sevigny and Michaela Kelley to open the frame before Eva Macari finished it off with a sacrifice fly to left.
Vets has now been outscored 59-7 over its last five league games, and sits at 1-11 in Division I-Central. Bay View improved to 7-3.
But the ’Canes aren’t ready to throw in the towel just yet. They have six games remaining on their schedule, beginning today when they travel to 3-9 East Providence for a 3:45 p.m. game.
“It’s been frustrating, but we’ll keep working at it,” Kennedy said. “We still have a chance to make the playoffs the way the format is, so we’ll keep working at it. East Providence is next, and they’re not going to feel sympathy for us.”