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Red and White close Coach B Classic with three consecutive losses

By Jordan Rinard
On March 3, 2014

The Miami University softball team struggled to keep its early momentum going in the Coach B Classic. The RedHawks downed Murray State University 7-1, before dropping three straight to Southern Illinois University, the University of Kansas and a rematch with SIU. The RedHawks (4-8) also went 1-3 during the weekend prior to the tournament.

"It was a tough weekend for us after having a strong first game," senior first baseman/pitcher Jenna Modic said. "We need to start coming together and clean up a few things. We need to have better communication on defense and more timely hits on offense. We were in situation where we were one play away from breaking a game open, but we didn't do it. If we can work on that, things will start falling into place for us."

Miami started off its tournament opener Saturday with a bang, as both sophomore outfielder Taylor Shuey and senior catcher Kayla Ledbetter homered in the first inning against Murray State. The 'Hawks tacked on three more in the third off RBIs by sophomore third baseman Hailey Reed and junior outfielder Brianna Lipscomb. The Racers got on the board with a run in the bottom of the inning, but they walked a runner home in the fourth and gave up a Lipscomb solo shot in the seventh.

Sophomore pitcher Amber Logemann picked up her first win of the season in the game as she went five innings, allowing one run while recording four strikeouts. Lipscomb had a strong game offensively as she went 2-4 with three RBIs and a home run.

Things did not go quite as smoothly in the following game against Southern Illinois. After being down 9-0 in the fifth and having the bases loaded with two outs, the RedHawks were unable to get anything going as the game was decided by the run-rule. Shuey went 2-3 in the game, while the pitching staff surrendered nine runs off nine hits.

The Red and White started off strong against Kansas Sunday, as Modic ripped a two-run homer in the first. However, the Jayhawks pushed across three runs in the bottom of the inning. It was all KU from that point on as it picked up runs in the third and fifth innings.

Senior second baseman Kristy Arbour had a good day on offense as she went 2-2 on the day. Modic pitched well in relief, going 5.2 innings and giving up one earned run.

The rematch against SIU started off the same as the first game, as Southern Illinois took an early lead with solo homer in the second and a three run homer in the fourth. However, Miami had a three-run fourth inning of its own as Reed drove in a runner off a sacrifice fly and Lipscomb had a two-run double. The host team posted another three runs in the following inning and piled on two more runs in the sixth before tacking on another in the seventh. The 'Hawks had an opportunity to come back with the base being loaded and two outs, but the game ended on a groundout.

The offense struggled, as it only registered three hits in the game and Logemann picked up her fourth loss of the season on the mound.

"We played some good teams this weekend," head coach Clarisa Crowell said. "We're disappointed that we couldn't win more games but we had some learning opportunities. It's a long season... We need to simplify things since we're thinking too much. Offensively, we need to get good at-bats, swing at good pitches and be consistent with our at-bats. It's difficult to prepare on defense when you're not on the field much. We need to have a lot of reps outside and work on our communication. We also need our pitching to step up."

The RedHawks will make their home debut Saturday with a doubleheader against Austin Peay State University. The games are scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. and 5 p.m.

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