Lakewood falls in final innings

LAKEWOOD — Errors added up as Lakewood softball toppled in its April 2 meeting against Granite Falls.

LAKEWOOD — Errors added up as Lakewood softball toppled in its April 2 meeting against Granite Falls.

It was the Cougars’ only game of the week, with Lakewood High School off for spring break.

While the Tigers took a one-run lead early in the first inning, batting wasn’t a problem for Lakewood. The girls’ multiple hits started adding up, and by the bottom of the third, Lakewood took the lead thanks to a two-run double by senior pitcher Kally Behen.

The visitors tied it up in the top of the fourth by advancing on errors, but it was a short-lived tie as Amanda Nunley, Kahlee Barrio and Becca Bean batted in consecutive runs to put the home team up again, this time 5-2.

But Lakewood allowed Granite Falls a few hits too, and owing in part to a two-run triple by Sarah Hensley, the Tigers retied the game at 5-5. Errors granted Granite Falls two more runs in the sixth inning, and Lakewood wouldn’t lead again, falling 7-6 after a seventh-inning rally fell short.

The girls took extra time after the game for postmortem, and coach Steve Barker said afterward the team discussed the improvements they would need to make.

“Hitting-wise we were fine, but we didn’t execute,” Barker said. “We didn’t run the bases smart. We have to get back to playing aggressively and smart.”

In addition to a truncated practice schedule, the team played without freshman Mariah Smith and a few innings without senior Stephanie Kushner, who were leaving town.

The absences gave a playing opportunity to backup Britney Owens, who had a single in the bottom of the sixth. It was her first at-bat of the year.

“She’ll be batting again Monday” against Archbishop Murphy, Barker said.

Senior Becca Bean led the offense, going 3-for-4 at bat with a third-inning run. Younger sister Amanda Bean had two hits, including an RBI double. With the first third of the season gone, the sisters have some of the team’s best numbers on offense.

Behen struck out seven in the loss.