CLAYTON – After winning their first two Ohio High School Athletic Association tournament games, the Arcanum Trojans faltered on Monday against the Indian Lake Lakers.
Arcanum played even with Indian Lake for four innings. But some costly errors by the young team put runners in scoring position and allowed the Lakers to get some unearned runs. The pressure of the playoffs seemed to have gotten the Trojans, rattled and although they attempted a comeback, they fell short, 7-3.
Arcanum got on Laker pitcher Jennifer Kaffenbarger early, scoring two runs in the bottom of the first inning. Elle Siculan led off with a double and Gracie Garno reached first base. Kaylee Wilcox hit a double to bring the runners home. This gave the Trojans an early 2-1 lead.
Trojan Elliana Sloan went down hard in the second inning, giving everyone a scare when she ran into the left field fence while trying to field a deeply hit fly ball. The game was halted for about 20 minutes while the medical staff worked on a bleeding lip. She was able to return to play that inning and finished out the game.
The Lakers tied the game, and the Trojans regained the lead in the fourth when Camille Pohl doubled and was knocked in by a Macey Hartman single.
It was a close game, and teams were evenly matched. In situations like this the team with the fewest errors is likely to win. Arcanum made several errors in the fifth and sixth innings. This allowed Indian Lake to score five more runs. The dagger was a home run in the sixth inning with two base runners.
“Our defense hurt us today,” Arcanum softball coach Rick Stone said. “When the girl hit that home run, we should have been out of that inning. We fool around and let the girls get on base, and then she caught one and sent it out. The inning before we throw the ball around and let the girl get to third base. You just can’t do that – the defense let us down today. I think we are just as good as what they are, but our defense just didn’t do it.”
Arcanum did bring in Elle Siculan as a relief pitcher in the last two innings. No further runs were scored, and although Arcanum got a couple of base runners in the bottom of the seventh, the Trojans could not bring them around.
Still it was successful season overall for a team that only has one senior and three juniors. The future is looking bright as the team should continue to get better and better.
“Now we did hit some rockets,” Stone said. “There in the seventh we were threatening. Our freshman Eva Siculan comes up and hits a hard liner off the pitcher’s foot and where does it go – straight to the second baseman. Any other time it would have bounced out to the outfield. We had some other outs like that, too. But credit Indian Lake – they got the win today. They are a good ball club, but if we play the defense that we are capable of then we are moving on.
“We only had three starters back from last year, and we got off to a slow start. Then the team kicked it in, and they beat some really good teams this year. We went further than I thought we would with this young club. I am looking forward to seeing what they can do next year.
“Elle Siculan was our only senior. She is a four-year starter and a really special kid. She played center field and pitched a little for us. She was our leadoff hitter and had a great attitude. She was calm and steady – she led by example. She had a great game tonight.”
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