Western capitalizes on Patterson

May 11, 1994|By Kevin Eck | Kevin Eck,Contributing Writer

The third inning started innocently enough for Patterson pitcher Jennifer Preston yesterday.

After giving up a leadoff walk to Western's Jamie Allen, Preston retired the next two batters and appeared to be out of trouble.

But Preston was defenseless as to what happened next.

The Clippers committed seven errors which led to six unearned runs in the inning, and host Western went on to score an 8-5 victory.

The win gives the Doves (12-1, 10-1) sole possession of first place in the City-Wide 4A League, and dropped Patterson (10-6, 8-2) into second place.

Western can clinch its fourth consecutive league championship and its fifth in six years with a victory over Southern-B tomorrow.

Patterson finished the game with eight errors. Preston, who pitched a seven-hitter and struck out eight, allowed just one earned run.

"I thought our pitcher pitched one of her best games of the year. She deserved a batter fate," Patterson coach Derek Maki said. "Defense has been a trouble spot. We worked on it all this week. I guess we'll go back to the drawing board tomorrow."

Defense had been a problem for both teams in Patterson's 11-10, eight-inning win over Western on April 14. In that contest, the Doves committed 10 errors and the Clippers had eight miscues.

Yesterday, however, Western reduced its errors to three.

"We played solid defense," Western coach Shirley Williams said. "We get stronger and stronger as we play because a lot of the kids have not played organized ball before high school."

Western pitcher Kim Osborne also seems to be getting stronger with more experience.

The graduation of All-City pitcher Tracy Gruzs had left the Doves with a void on the mound. But Osborne, who pitched just four innings last season, has made a smooth transition from the outfield.

Although she had some control problems (nine walks), Osborne scattered four hits and allowed only two earned runs.

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