Lady Tigers get shut out by Lafayette
Friday night’s game ended early when the lights went out and never came back on.
But this story’s ending was written long before the fuse blew.
Lafayette pitcher Haley Ellefson stifled Columbia’s lineup all night long, allowing only three hits in a 6-0 shutout before the game was called in the seventh inning.
The lights at the softball field shut off in the top of the seventh with one out, causing a 10-minute delay while coaches met to decide the future of the game.
During the delay, music blasted from the press box while Columbia players gathered around second base and danced to the tunes.
Every player except catcher Kamdyn Kvistad.
She stayed behind home plate, sitting in the dirt, visibly frustrated as Columbia got shut out for the second time this season.
“(Ellefson) just mixed it inside, outside, high, low and kept everybody off balance. That’s what a good pitcher does,” Kvistad said. “We just got to become better offensively and just step up and take her off the mound. That’s just what softball is all about — trying to beat the pitcher out and we didn’t do that.”
Ellefson struck out four Lady Tigers and rarely let a ball leave the infield. Even one of Columbia’s hits was an infield single, courtesy of SK Lewis.
Dara Gaylard drove a single to the outfield and Alaina Perry registered a deep double, but besides a sacrifice fly, Ellefson kept every other ball inside the diamond.
It was a disappointing effort by Columbia, especially fresh off of Thursday night’s 2-1 win over defending Class 6A state champion Forest.
Cris’Deona Beasley threw 127 pitches against Forest and had to turn around and pitch again Friday. Columbia’s freshman was charged with four runs before getting pulled with two outs in the fourth.
“I don’t think she was tired, she’s just working and trying to build her endurance in her legs and arm,” Columbia head coach Trudy Andrews said. “She’s still working on pitches so she did a heck of a job. I’m extremely proud of her. We just got to put some offense behind her. That’s the key right now, getting some offense going behind her.”
Lafayette’s offense came on in the third thanks to a 2-RBI double by Alana Wimberley for a 2-0 advantage. Lacey Swafford, who went 2-for-4, then doubled the lead with a 2-RBI single in the fourth that knocked Beasley temporarily from the game.
Alaina Perry came in to get the final out in the top of the fourth but walked three straight batters to begin the fifth. That was enough for Andrews to pull the reliever back in favor of Beasley.
But it didn’t stop the Lady Hornets (5-2).
Beasley immediately gave up an RBI single to Kelbert Pearson and Grace Perry drove in the sixth run of the night two batters later with a ground out to shortstop.
A lack of run support also didn’t help Beasley. The Lady Tigers (3-3) only had two runners in scoring position all night and went 0-for-4 in chances to drive them in.
Columbia also left four runners stranded in a 7-0 loss to West Nassau last Friday.
It won’t get any easier for Columbia’s lineup next Thursday either as it goes up against Gainesville and starting pitcher Katie Chronister, a University of Florida signee.
“We haven’t seen any one type of pitcher and that’s what you’re going to see at this level,” Andrews said. “They’ve got to adjust to it and work through it and put the bat on the ball with some authority.”