MANCHESTER -- Leading 3-0 in the top of the third inning, Leland & Gray first baseman Ashley Goddard hit a deep fly ball over Burr and Burton Academy left fielder Rachel Senecal’s head for an inside the park home run. Later in the inning, with one out and runners on second and third, Leland & Gray’s Chelby Nystrom bunted to drive in a run. As it turned out, that’s all the Rebels (4-2) would need against the BBA softball team (2-4) who came up short, 11-4, against the Division III Rebels on Tuesday.
"I thought we played fairly well," said BBA coach Dan DeForest. "We did a lot of really good things. Š You’re not going to score 10 runs against a team like this. You’ve got to hold them down and score five or six and hopefully that will be enough. Our defense is getting a step closer all the time. "
Leland & Gray tacked on another run in the top of the third to go up 6-0, but Burr and Burton came right back in the bottom half of the inning.
After a pair of walks and a single into right center by second baseman Meghan Kardas, Leland and Gray pitcher Elizabeth Symanski walked in a run to put BBA on the board. After Kardas came home on a wild pitch, Senecal roped a double down the first base line to bring the Bulldogs within two.
"We were right back in it at that point. We had come back from being down 6-0 and that’s when another team can often relax and just have everything go their way," said DeForest. "So, we’re right back in it and we know we can score off this pitcher Š and [we’re] hoping [to] hold them right there."
The momentum shifted again in the top half of the fourth though when Leland & Gray scored two runs to go up 8-4.
"That makes it tough again because now they’ve retaken back their momentum that they had earlier and then they held us Š and then it’s just hard to get that momentum back," said DeForest.
Aside from getting into some trouble in the bottom of the third, Symanski threw a solid game for the Rebels, striking out seven in seven innings of work.
"We struggled a little bit. Not so much defensively, but Š our pitching was a little bit off at that moment," said Leland & Gray coach Tammy Claussen. "But she rallied and finished up with four strong innings after that."
BBA had a chance to get something going again in the bottom of the fifth with shortstop Taylor Smith on third and one down, but the Bulldogs were unable to get the run home.
"We’re putting ourselves in the position to have those opportunities," said DeForest. "I thought we were doing a better job of getting to that step. So, now we [get] the runners on, now we just need to drive them home. That’ll come."
Burr and Burton Caitlyn Arellano had five strike outs in the game in seven innings.
Follow on Twitter @BrandonCanevari.