Pittsburg softball's inexperience showed Tuesday night in the Purple Dragons' first game against visiting Baxter Springs, but the 14-3 loss did not dampen their spirits as they hit the field in Game 2, which Pittsburg won in dramatic fashion, 17-13.

Pittsburg softball's inexperience showed Tuesday night in the Purple Dragons' first game against visiting Baxter Springs, but the 14-3 loss did not dampen their spirits as they hit the field in Game 2, which Pittsburg won in dramatic fashion, 17-13.

Baxter Springs’ win in Game 1 can mostly be credited to Pittsburg errors. The Dragons racked up most of their six Game 1 errors by the fifth inning and were trailing by eight at the end of the sixth. The one run in the bottom of the seventh by the Dragons was not enough to match the four runs put on the board by Baxter Springs in the top half.

Pittsburg coach Mary Packard said her young team just wasn’t catching the ball like they needed to win.

However, Packard said both teams "battled" in the second game. Pittsburg strung together four big offensive innings, scoring four in the first, five in the fourth, and four apiece in the fifth and sixth, producing enough offense to outscore and outslug Baxter Springs.

By the bottom of the fourth inning Baxter had taken over the scoreboard, 9-4, but the Dragons knotted up the game with a five-run fourth inning of its own. Hits by Brie Moore and Alaura Short, and Baxter Springs errors helped Pittsburg tally those five runs.

“We definitely picked up runs off errors,” Packard said.

Pittsburg took control of the game in the sixth, keeping the Lions at bay in the top of the sixth with one run and then executing power hits in the bottom half. Maxwell began the hitting spree, cranking a double to right, Moore doubled and Jenna Cuthbertson hit a three-run double.

The Purple Dragons took a 17-13 lead into the seventh. Game 2 starter Mercedes Vogel allowed one hit, but that was all the comeback Baxter could muster and Pittsburg buckled down.

Packard said big hits — including a home run by Chelsea Williams — gave her girls the confidence they needed to finish the game on top.

“Mercedes (Vogel) pitched a great seventh inning,” Packard said.

The CNC went 4-2 against SEK League schools Tuesday, as Girard swept a doubleheader from Chanute, Riverton beat Columbus and Baxter Springs split two with Pittsburg. Labette County beat Frontenac, 3-1.

Pittsburg (3-7, 2-4 SEK) hosts Columbus today at Cheryl Stice Field.

Prep softball
at Cheryl Stice Field
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Game One
Baxter Springs 14, Pittsburg 3
Baxter Springs       140 122 4 — 14 10 0
Pittsburg              010 001 1 —  3   7  6
Tawny Berry and Tyler Frazier. Lindsay Shoemaker, Mercedes Vogel (7) and Bethanne Elliott. WP — Berry. LP — Shoemaker. E — Vogel 3, Chelsea Williams, Jenna Cuthbertson, Brianna Maxwell. 2B — Berry, Kayla Mccully. 3B  — Alayna Von Moss. CS — Skyleigh Bingham.

Game Two
Pittsburg 17, Baxter Springs 13
Baxter Springs       211 531 0 — 13 14 5
Pittsburg              400 544 X — 17 18 4
Tayler Frazier, Berry (4) and Tyler Frazier. Vogel and Elliott. WP — Vogel. LP — Berry. E — Mccully 3, Ashlyn Parmley, Bingham; Maxwell, Brie Moore, Cuthbertson, Lizzy Willis. 2B — Mccully, Von Moss, Parmley; Cuthbertson, Maxwell, Moore 2.  HR — Williams. CS — Aleigh Grimes.