Lakeview opens season with a pair of losses to Alma

By Chip Burch • Last Updated 1:32 pm on Friday, March 27, 2015

Lakeview’s Kirsten Johnson slams a triple during the second game of the Wildcats’ doubleheader against Alma Tuesday. – Daily News/Chip Burch

LAKEVIEW — Lakeview softball coach Daryl Johnson was glad to get the first doubleheader of the season out of the way.

That was about the only thing he was glad about.

Johnson’s Wildcats were beat in both games by the Alma Panthers, 11-0 in five innings and 10-5 in six innings Tuesday.

“It’s was great to get out early,” Johnson said. “It gives us more time to work on the things we need to work on. Obviously, we made a lot of mental mistakes and errors (Tuesday.) Part of that is a young team, part of that is being early in the season. We have a lot of time to fix it.”

The first game was cruising along with neither team able to get much going. That all changed in the fourth inning when the Panthers scored three times in the fourth inning and eight more times in the fifth inning.

“Errors just kind of snowballed,” Johnson said. “It was one mistake on top of another and we got down on ourselves. You could see the emotion kind of drop and that leads to more errors.”

Meanwhile, the Wildcats weren’t able to get their bats going, getting only one hit in the first game.

“We just hadn’t faced much live pitching,” Johnson said. “We have been doing a lot of hitting drills but not off live pitching so it was an adjustment.”

Alma pitcher Amanda Efaw threw the one-hitter, striking out 11 without a walk for the win.

Kirsten Johnson took the loss after giving up 12 runs on just five hits. She walked six and struck out three.

Lakeview’s only hit was a Justice Luttrell single in the fourth inning.

Evalen Vandemark and Kendall Verdrode had two hits and two RBIs each in the game.

The second game saw Lakeview get the first three runs of the game on two hits, an error and three wild pitches. Alma came back with two runs in its half of the first for a 3-2 score.

“We started seeing the ball better,” Daryl Johnson said. “It’s different from pitching like we do front toss or off the machine. That was the first live pitching we had hit off all year.”

Alma took the lead with a pair of runs in the second, another in the third and four more in the fourth inning.

The Wildcats scored three runs on five hits off relief pitcher Emma Ceja in the fifth inning but were unable to get any closer.

Luttrell was the losing pitcher after giving up six hits but walking five without a strikeout.

Luttrell and Kirsten Johnson had two hits each.

Efaw started and got the win, allowing two hits and a walk in four innings.

Lakeview is to face Montabella at home Friday, weather permitting.

Johnson said he will be getting some work done between now and then.

“Working on defense, working on the mental part of the game, knowing where to go with the ball,” Daryl Johnson said. “That was probably the thing I was disappointed in the most. I thought we would be farther along than we are.”

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