With just six strikeouts combined between the two teams, Monday’s game between the Cumberland and St. Anthony softball teams came down to key defensive plays.
And unfortunately for the Bulldogs, the Pirates made one such play at a crucial moment in the game, while St. Anthony had an unfortunate miscue that proved costly in a 5-3 loss.
Pirates right fielder Lacey Hornbeck kept a pair of runs from scoring by chasing down a well-struck fly ball into right-center by Kelly McHugh to end the fifth inning.
In sharp contrast, a dropped fly ball by the Bulldogs with two outs in the top of the fourth inning allowed three unearned runs to score, giving Cumberland a 4-0 lead it would not relinquish.
“It’s something I talk to the kids a lot about, how important the outfield is,” Cumberland coach Dave Shawver said. “The outfield is very important, especially when you’re playing good teams that are gonna hit the ball into the outfield.
“I think that was the difference today — the ball we caught and the ball they didn’t catch.”