Tempers flare late during Lady Raiders' loss

BROOKVILLE — Neither the players nor coaches for the Brookville and St. Marys softball teams were happy after the Lady Dutch beat the Lady Raiders 14-0 Wednesday in Brookville.

Tempers flared after St. Marys scored seven runs in the top of the seventh inning to extend its lead to 14-0.

Brookville coach Earl Ross objected to St. Marys coach Manny Gerarge continuing to run the bases aggressively, despite leading by double digits.

Both groups of players accused the other side of being too aggressive on the base paths at times during the game. St. Marys' bench chants to support their teammates during the game, a Lady Dutch tradition, didn't help as the game went on.

"St. Marys is a good team, and you can't take that away from them," Ross said. "But to be running the bases like they were when they had 10-runned us already was unsportsmanlike. I thought the girls handled all the screaming and yelling (by St. Marys' bench) well, but after a while, it does start to wear on you."

Gerarge was unavailable for comment.

The arguing nearly overshadowed the performance of St. Marys starting pitcher Rachel Ginther, who stifled Brookville's (2-6) offense, allowing two hits and striking out nine batters.

Lady Dutch assistant coach Paul Bellina joked that he saw a little rust because Ginther had missed the team's 6-0 loss to Punxsutawney Monday due to injury.

"She walked a batter," Bellina said with a laugh. "That may be a little bit of rust there. But she normally averages 11 or 12 strikeouts a game. For her to get nine today, that means our defense had to get 12 outs."

St. Marys' offense also stepped up to help Ginther early. After Brookville starting pitcher Tonya Shaffer held the Lady Dutch scoreless in the first, St. Marys (7-3) scored five runs in the second.

It proved to be the only offense St. Marys would need, as only Kelsey Heinrich and Denielle Swonger were able to get hits for the Lady Raiders. Brookville had three base runners for the game, the other being Abby Beatty, who drew a walk in the first inning.

St. Marys finished with 11 hits, including three extra-base hits.

"Everyone around here hasn't had a good chance to see live pitching because of the weather," Bellina said. "It's hard to practice in the gym and then try to translate to a game. I was proud of the way the girls put the ball to the bat today."

The Lady Dutch would add a run in the fifth and sixth innings before scoring seven runs in the seventh. Brookville committed six errors in the game, including three in the seventh inning.

"We were in a funk today," Ross said. "We need to refocus and get back to basics. We had a breakdown in several aspects of our game today."