BEDFORD – Jeffersonville softball coach Chelsea Jordan stood motionless and powerless in the third-base box. Her look of exasperation signaled everything anyone needed to know.
Two baserunners were picked off in scoring position. A slicing ball down the left-field line from a left-handed Bedford North Lawrence better landed on the paint and ultimately cost her Red Devils two late runs.
Jeffersonville was inches away from a road win. Instead, the Devils absorbed another tough defeat. The Stars banged out five extra-base hits and Rebecca Schoenung fired a four-hit shutout as BNL bounced Jeffersonville 3-0 on Thursday afternoon.
The Devils slipped to 2-7, and five of the losses have been in similar and frustrating fashion. Little mistakes get magnified by the moment. Timely hits hurt. The Devils weren’t officially charged with an error, in fact their fielding was almost flawless. Mental mistakes aren’t listed in the box score.
“We haven’t done a very good job of paying attention to details,” Jordan said. “Everybody wants to be the hero, but they don’t do it under control.”
BNL owned a 1-0 lead, thanks to a Marissa Watson RBI double in the third, when the Devils threatened in the sixth. Faith Denig led off the frame with a double to right, and Tori Flaten followed with a beautiful two-strike bunt down the third-base line.
Schoenung scampered out of the circle but had no real shot at Flaten at first. So she faked the throw there, then wheeled and fired a strike back to third, hoping to surprise Denig. Did she ever. Instead of runners at first and third with no out, Jeffersonville had one on, one out, and no momentum.
“That’s a heads-up play,” BNL coach Brad Gilbert said. “She probably wasn’t going to make the play at first. It’s something we talk about a lot, fake the throw and see if we can get the girl to bite. It sure helped us breathe a lot better.”
So did a two-run rally for some insurance in the bottom of the sixth. Justice Kline tripled to right, and Karissa Salm followed with a slicing drive down the line that landed fair on the white boundary. Morgan Lambrecht, given a reprieve when Flaten couldn’t corral a catchable pop up in foul ground, cracked a RBI single to center.
Emily Gray was a tough-luck loser for the Devils. She scattered nine hits and struck out 6.
Freshman third baseman Lindsey Nelson, recently promoted back to the varsity, made several sparkling defensive plays.
But Schoenung was simply better. She fanned 7 and allowed only four hits, two of them by Denig. And she picked Jocelyn Tincher off second for the game’s final out, leaving the potential tying run standing at the plate.
“Every time we needed her to come up with a strikeout, she got it,” Gilbert said. “It seemed like she got 16.”
Watson and Salm had two hits each for BNL.
Justin Sokeland can be followed on Twitter at @golfguru55
Jeffersonville 000 000 0 – 0 4 0
Bedford NL 001 002 x – 3 9 0
WP – Rebecca Schoenung. LP – Emily Gray. 2B – Faith Denig (J), Marissa Watson, Karissa Salm, Rebecca Schoenung, Hailey Miller (BNL). 3B – Justice Kline (BNL). Records – Jeffersonville 2-7, BNL 7-5.