Plymouth drops 4-0 decision to LaPorte

PLYMOUTH — The Plymouth softball team came up short in its second game of the young season, dropping a 4-0 decision to LaPorte on Saturday.
LaPorte put up all four runs in the fourth inning. It was all the scoring they would need as LaPorte’s Hannah Fuller held the young Plymouth lineup to just three scattered singles.
The Lady Slicers threatened to score in the top of the first off of Plymouth hurler Marissa Sullivan when leadoff hitter Alexis Botsford reached on an error and Emma Dickson followed by coaxing an eight-pitch walk. A one-out groundout moved the two runners up a base, leaving Sullivan to face number five hitter Kelsee Robinson with two outs. Sullivan got Robinson to chase a pitch in the dirt for strike three, and catcher Emilee Keilman dug the pitch out and threw down to Sommer McClellan at first for the final out.
Plymouth had an opportunity to grab a lead in the bottom of the second.
Morgan O’Neal led off with a grounder to short, and Dickson’s throw to first was wide of the bag, allowing O’Neal to reach on the error. April Hampton laid down a sacrifice bunt to move O’Neal into scoring position, and the Plymouth shortstop moved up another base on Sara Iwinski’s grounder to first. O’Neal was left at third, however, when Britney Horvath’s fly ball into short left center was snagged by Dickson.
After both teams went down in order in the third, LaPorte finally found the scoring column in the fourth.
Brynna Wolfenbarger led off with a single to left and was sacrificed to second by Robinson. Meghan Bunch followed with a single up the middle to put runners at first and third with one out. That brought Fuller to the plate, and the Slicer pitcher worked Sullivan to a full count before taking the 3-2 pitch and driving it into the right-center field gap for a two-run triple. It looked like the damage would be limited to just two runs after a strikeout produced the second out, but nine-hitter Kelsey Vergin’s towering fly ball found the grass behind second base, allowing courtesy runner Melanie Smith, running for Fuller, to score. A single by Botsford and a pair of walks would follow to bring Vergin home with the fourth run before Wolfenbarger flew out to Hampton in left to end the inning and give LaPorte all the cushion they would need.
Plymouth would put runners on in three of the final four innings put could not advance any of them beyond first base. LaPorte threatened to add to its lead in the sixth, loading the bases on a pair of singles with one out, but a strikeout and a groundout got the Lady Pilgrims out of the inning’s trouble.
Sullivan tried to give life to the Lady Pilgrims in the bottom of the seventh with a leadoff hit, but Fuller would get the next three hitters with a pair of strikeouts sandwiched around a popup to Dickson at short to end the game.
Keilman and Kailey Whitley had the other two Plymouth hits off of Fuller, who earned the victory with eight strikeouts and no walks allowed. Sullivan struck out nine in the loss and allowed just six hits, four of those coming in the LaPorte rally in the fourth.
Plymouth drops to 0-2 in the early going and has a full week coming up, beginning today at home with South Bend Riley, followed by Bremen coming to Plymouth on Tuesday. The Lady Pilgrims also have Glenn on the schedule for Thursday, Tippecanoe Valley on Friday and Michigan City Saturday morning, also all at home.
At Plymouth
LaPorte: 000 400 0 — 4 6 1
Plymouth: 000 000 0 — 0 3 2
Hannah Fuller (W) and Brynna Wolfenbarger; Marissa Sullivan (L) and Emilee Keilman
3B: Fuller (W)
Records: Plymouth 0-2