SPORTS

By Eric Clutter Record-Courier staff writer Published:

Even so, coach Amy Larkin says there has always been one inning where the Rough Riders experience some difficulty.

"For whatever reason, we are notorious for having a horrible inning (each) game," said Larkin. "I'm not sure what it is, but it seems when things start going bad on this team, they just go awful."

And Wednesday afternoon at Firestone Stadium against Cuyahoga Falls, the Rough Riders continued that bad habit. They endured a nightmarish sixth inning that ultimately led to four runs, which allowed the Black Tigers to take a 6-2 victory in an Akron Division I district semifinal game.

Having gone hitless for the first four innings, the Rough Riders broke through against Cuyahoga Falls starter Candice Miller for a run in the top of the sixth that pulled them within 2-1.

But in the bottom half of the inning, two walks, two wild pitches and two singles resulted in four runs that widened the gap considerably. Worse yet was the fact that all the runs came with two outs.

"I felt like the whole game we were making some mistakes _ mentally and defensively," said Larkin. "I felt it should have been 1-0 (Cuyahoga Falls) when we first scored."

During the Black Tigers' sixth-inning uprising, Roosevelt (17-8) made every kind of error.

A leadoff single by Miller off Rough Rider pitcher Candi Meloy started the inning. Miller then swiped second base, but Meloy subsequently fanned Erin Kepress.

Beth Dennis followed by hitting a bouncer to Roosevelt shortstop Amanda Palmer. Palmer had a play at first, but instead elected to try and get Miller creeping off second. Her plan worked initially, as Miller swayed too far off the bag and got herself into a rundown.

However, Roosevelt threw the ball away trying to cut her down at third, and runners stood at second and third.

Meloy proceeded to get a huge out when Leslie Cook popped out to catcher Katie Benjamin. The next hitter, Sara Price, reached on a walk to load the bases.

The free pass and the error seemed to bother the sophomore Meloy, as she became frustrated and unleashed two consecutive wild pitches that scored two runs, making the count 4-1. Meloy issued another walk, to Meghann Dix, that put runners on first and second.

Cuyahoga Falls right fielder Carrie Randozzi (two hits) brought in Price with a single, and Dix scored the Black Tigers' sixth run on the throw trying to cut down Randozzi at second.

Of the six runs that Meloy surrendered, four were unearned as the Rough Riders ended up outhitting the Black Tigers 5-4. Unfortunately, Roosevelt also led in errors 4-0.

Still, Larkin, who will only lose two starters _ Palmer and Emily Kemp _ is looking forward to next spring.

"The only good thing I can say is that I have most of my team coming back next year," she said. "They are obviously going to want some revenge against Falls. We keep learning from our mistakes."

Cuyahoga Falls (20-7), which defeated Roosevelt in all three games this season, plays Akron Ellet tonight at Firestone Stadium for the district title.

Benjamin had two hits to spark the Roosevelt offense, including her team's first hit _ a double leading off the fifth. Danielle Fincham and Palmer each singled, which drove in runs in the sixth and seventh innings, respectively.

_____

Akron Division I District

Cuyahoga Falls 6, Kent Roosevelt 2

(at Firestone Stadium)

KENT ROOSEVELT 000 001 1 _ 2 5 4

CUY. FALLS 100 104 x _ 6 4 0

Candice Miller & Heather Valentine. Candi Meloy & Katie Benjamin.

WP _ Miller. LP _ Meloy.

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