Hickman’s defense showed up too late.
Hickman lost to Southern Boone County 4-1 on Monday at Cosmopolitan Park, after the Eagles scored three runs in the first inning on three Kewpies errors.
In the first at-bat of the game, Rendi Banta reached base on a bouncer to pitcher Stefani Worley, who made a poor throw to Jennifer Bieberly at first.
Audrey Bill popped-up a bunt that Worley almost caught. Worley’s throw to first sailed over Bieberly’s head, scored Banta, put Bill on second and gave Worley her second error.
Bill reached third on Amanda Nikolenko’s ground-out to third baseman Jessica Perry. Perry then tried to throw out Bill at home on Abby Harris’ ground ball, but threw past catcher Stephanie Frevert.
After advancing to second on Perry’s error, Harris stole third and scored on Andrea Englehart’s ground out. Jessica Norton grounded out to Perry to end the inning.
The Eagles put only four runners on base the rest of the game, scoring one run in the third inning.
“The first inning was a little shaky,” Worley said. “I had two errors, two side-throws, overthrows, whatever you want to call it. I was so pumped for this game, I was feeling really good, and just ... they happen.”
Hickman coach Courtney Diehl said errors are a big problem for the Kewpies (7-16).
“It happens to us all the time,” Diehl said. “We get an error and everybody shuts down. That’s something that we’ve got to get over.”
Hickman tried to bounce back in the bottom of the first, taking advantage of Eagle’s pitcher Amanda Nikolenko’s control problems. After Shana White popped out, Kelsy Merideth singled to left, then moved to second on Lindsey Rock’s walk. The Kewpies runners advanced a base on a wild pitch to Bieberly before Nikolenko struck her out.
A walk to Denise Buxton loaded the bases, and another walk to Worley sent Merideth home for the Kewpies’ only run. Stephanie Frevert grounded to third with the bases loaded, ending the Kewpies comeback.
Nikolenko, a senior, took control after the first. She struck out nine, closing the second with runners on second and third.
“I have to give Amanda a lot of credit,” Eagles coach Karen Persinger said. “She got through those first couple innings that were kind of tough. She really fought back, didn’t let it get to her, stayed focused and finished the game strong.”