Catching the softball is just as important as hitting it. Rock Bridge’s play Monday night bolsters that theory.
The Bruins (4-6) defeated Hermann 8-0 at Rock Bridge despite being outhit 8-6. Half of Rock Bridge’s runs were unearned thanks to three errors and several other defensive miscues by the Bearcats.
The Bruins, on the other hand, committed no errors and got key outs with runners on base.
Christina Gardner pitched all seven innings, recording half of her outs on ground balls. She also struck out four and walked four.
“We had too many walks down the stretch,” Rock Bridge coach Jennifer Mast said. “We needed to be more efficient, but for the most part, Christina did a very nice job.”
Gardner said the defense was crucial.
“We had good defense to back (my pitching) up,” she said. “We made some good throws to get some outs from the outfield.”
Christie Puglis made a crucial running catch in right field for the second out of the fifth inning. Her catch helped Gardner pitch out of a bases-loaded jam.
“Puglis made a nice grab and it’s nice when it’s timely,” Mast said.
Hermann’s poor defense allowed Rock Bridge to take an early lead. The Bruins scored three runs in the first inning on two Bearcat errors.
First baseman Melissa White hit a two-run triple to deep right in the third inning to give Rock Bridge a 5-0 advantage. White led Rock Bridge with two RBI. White, Gardner and center fielder Kendall Brown each scored two runs.
Rock Bridge was successful in three of its four stolen base attempts, and its offense drew six walks.
“When their pitcher is struggling to throw strikes, and some of our kids are hitting really well, you tend not to use the bunt as much,” Mast said. “When you do that, you’ve still got to move your runners. If you can do it with the steal it’s nice, but we often don’t have that luxury. We see great catchers almost every game.”