Lady Zebras Finish Season Tied for Second

Retrieved From Lincoln Beacon

By Jeremy McDonald

Entering the final game of the regular season yesterday, just one game separated second place Lincoln and third place Placer in the Pioneer Valley League varsity softball standings. 

The Hillmen played spoiler twice though as they not only beat Lincoln 6-0, but did so on senior day on Lincoln’s home field. The win by Placer means both team’s finished tied for second in the PVL.

“They started hitting,” said Lincoln head coach Donna Tofft. “We have to definitely get better with that in the playoffs because every team is good. That we’re still young up here (mentally) and we need that experience.”

Placer took a quick 1-0 lead following an RBI double by Kaelin Amerin that drove home Kiara McGinnis home who was hit by a pitch in the previous at-bat.

Starting pitcher Lexie Sheiring settled in following the double by striking out four and allowing only two hits in the next 14 batters she faced.

“We started strong and did good throughout the whole game,” said Sheiring. “We had to get back and get them.”

Then the Lady Hillmen’s bats came to life in the fifth though.

Following a walk to Amerin, Emily Geil reached on a single. A double steal then set up a two-run single by Amber Budmark that gave Placer a 3-0 lead entering the bottom of the fifth.

“They just hit the ball,” said Sheiring. “They just got some hits and they scored.”

The Hillmen would add three more in the sixth inning as the Zebras struggled to drive runs in, only mustering a Matty Cunningham single in the fifth and a Lexie Smith single in the sixth as they were kept off the board.

“Main thing is our hitting for sure,” said Sami Wyatt. “We are in a slump right now and we need to get out of it.”

Lincoln will find out where they will be seeded Thursday evening as they’ll either be placed in Division-III or Division-IV (depending on where the CIF-Sac Joaquin Section selection committee decides to put them).

Tofft said the next few days will be focused on one thing with their hitting — confidence.

“We’re going to hit with confidence over the next three or four days,” said Tofft. “We’re going to get our swagger back, ‘get up here and hit the ball’. See ball. Hit ball. It’s a simple game.”

But she is optimistic about her squad however. “I love to see us, say eight, nine (seed) and sneak up on people.”