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Trotters softball shows fight against Eureka

Apr. 24—Despite what the scoreboard read at the end of the game, this was maybe the sign the Plains Trotters softball team has been waiting for.

The young Trotters, who have yet to win a game this year, battled to the end with 7B conference partner Eureka before finally falling 24-7.

But the real story may have been how the Trotters came back, avoiding another Mercy Rule shortened game until the last out of the fifth inning.

In doing so, they thwarted the Lady Lions' attempt to close them out after three innings.

It can be viewed as a hopeful sign.

That youth extends to the pitching mound where the Trotters have been struggling to find consistency, and often the plate.

Pitching a softball in a fast pitch game is one of the most difficult things in sports.

Eureka took advantage of ongoing Plains control problems, scoring 10 runs in the top of the first on just two hits. The run barrage was fueled by numerous walks and wild pitches.

These are things that will improve with time and experience.

Plains scored one run in the bottom of the first on a fielder's choice that allowed Jaelyn Carr, one of three seniors on their underclassmen dominated roster, to scamper home.

It was more of the same in the top of the second, as the Lions added four more runs to their total, nearing the amount required (15) to invoke the Mercy rule and halt the game.

But Plains, despite trailing 14-1 going into the bottom of the second, plated one more run on a long single by Randi Kilgore that drove in one of two runners on base, making it 14-2 at the end of two.

The Lady Lions kept putting up numbers on the scoreboard, adding two more in the top of the third, while holding Plains scoreless in the bottom half of the inning, and one more in the top of the fourth to make it 16-2 Eureka. The solo run by Eureka in the top of the fourth created a 17-2 advantage, giving Plains one more chance, by rule, to close the 15-run gap.

And that's where the glimmer of a good sign came into play. The Trotters struck back with four runs, making the score 17-6 and eliminating, for the moment, the Mercy rule requirement.

Unfortunately, control problems continued in the top of the fifth, allowing Eureka to push seven more runs across the plate, making it 24-6, an 18-run advantage.

Given one more second chance, Plains plated one more run on a bases loaded walk, but that was all they could muster and the game ended after five innings.

Earlier this past week, Plains traveled to St. Ignatius for a game against a rapidly improving Mission-Arlee-Charlo (MAC) co-op team.

The Lady Bulldogs also took advantage of the struggling pitching staff and threw in some timely hits to jump out to an 8-1 lead at the end of the first inning. As was the case against Eureka, Carr got on base and scored in the top of the first to give the Trotters a 1-0 lead.

It was their only lead of the game against the hit-happy MAC girls. The Lady Bulldogs plated seven runs in the bottom of the second after holding Plains scoreless in the top of the second.

Trailing 15-1 going in to the bottom of inning number three, MAC scored a solo run, all that was needed to invoke the Mercy rule and end the game, 16-1.

Plains is now 0-8 on the year, while MAC is 5-3 as they begin to surge as the season progresses.

Next up for the Trotters is a 1 p.m. home game this Friday (April 26) against Troy. They will remain home for a pair of games the next day (Sat. April 27) versus Anaconda (Noon) and Deer Lodge (4 p.m.)