FORT WORTH, Texas — The Cloud County Community College softball team concluded its annual trip to the Cowtown Classic in Fort Worth Texas on Saturday, finishing with a 16-2 loss to North Central Texas College in a game that was closer than the final box score through six innings.
Cloud County (0-6 overall) drew first blood on Saturday, putting up a pair of runs in the bottom of the first inning when freshman Jacie Marcotte drilled a two-run double, scoring fellow freshmen Emily Wells and Mattison Hogrefe.
Marcotte had her best game at the plate of her young career as she led the T-Birds' lineup with a three-hit day (3-for-4).
The T-Birds would maintain their 2-0 advantage through the game's first three innings as sophomore pitcher Madison Hammond got off to a great start, striking out three Lions' hitters through the first three frames.
"We started off great, getting three up and three down in the top of the first inning and Jacie hitting that long double to right-center field," said Cloud County head coach, Aaron Acree. "Madison Hammond was doing a nice job keeping them off-balance through the first three innings."
After Cloud County missed a chance to add on with bases loaded in the bottom of the third, North Central Texas College capitalized and broke through in the fourth inning,tying the game at 3-3 on a three-run home run by Faith Hollingsworth.
"We have to get that corrected," said Acree about the current funk Cloud County is in with runners in scoring position. The T-Birds have had 26 runners in scoring position left on base through their first six games. "We need a hard hit ball somewhere in those situations to get us going."
The Lions followed that up with three runs in the fifth inning, then broke the game open with a 10-run seventh inning to skew the 16-2 final score.
"North Central Texas got its timing down and started hitting the ball back up the middle. Throw in an error and the game snowballed on us," Acree said.
The T-Birds are currently scheduled for 12 days off before returning to the field Thursday, Feb. 28 for their home opener against Bethany College JV. Game times are scheduled for 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.
"I think we're doing good things. Our errors have been kept to a minimum, it just seems we have them at the wrong time. We have stranded a tremendous amount of runners in scoring position and somebody has to accept the challenge and win it (the at-bat)," Acree said. "I truly believe we can turn it around. We will come back, continue working and make some adjustments."
Notes: Cloud County had its game against Central Community College-Columbus, originally scheduled for 9 a.m. Saturday, cancalled due to cold weather conditions.