Approaching the end of the regular season, Woodward-Granger (5-10) made a couple notable adjustments in Friday’s 4-3 road loss to Southeast Valley (8-3).
Following a knockout performance in the previous night’s doubleheader, senior Katelyn Bandstra moved to the top of the order where leading hitter and scorer Emma Anderson typically resides. Anderson moved to the cleanup role on this occasion. Among other changes, Audrey Simmons worked in the three-hole where Jamison typically resides.
Through the first three innings, those adjustments worked like clockwork as the Hawks held a 3-1 lead. Bandstra scored once and Chloe Houge in the two-spot circled around twice after Jamison drove her in the first and third innings.
Beyond the batting order’s change, Friday marked the first time Rian Jamison was not the starting pitcher. Ava Petersen got the nod. After nine hits through the first four innings turned into three unearned runs for the Jaguars on a couple errors in the field, Jamison was brought in for two innings of relief with a tied 3-3 game.
Woodward’s fielding issues continued after the pitching change, scoring the eventual winning run on another error. Overall, the team committed five errors to contribute to all four Valley runs.
The Hawks took to the seventh inning for a comeback attempt, placing Petersen in scoring position. But a deep ball from Simmons to centerfield fell shy of the fence for the final out. It wasn’t the first close-call of the night as the Hawks grabbed just five hits compared to Valley’s 10 that helped eke out the win.
Next Up: @ACGC (Monday)
Just three games remain before the postseason begins for the Hawks, which coincidentally is also against the Chargers (July 15). That quarterfinal matchup will be in Woodward, but this road matchup will serve as a practice round before the final score really matters.