Hudson softball coach Don Sewell has been trying to get his team to improve every game.
The Explorers have shown improvement lately, especially at the plate.
But Hudson’s first win the in Northeast Ohio Conference River Division remains elusive, thanks to tenacious Cuyahoga Falls squad.
Falls weathered a late comeback attempt by the Explorers to hold on for 7-6 win at Hudson April 21.
Falls improved to 5-4, 2-0 in the River Division, while Hudson dropped to 1-8, 0-2 in the River Division.
Hudson finished with a 14-8 edge in hits in the loss, including two doubles and two triples.
However, the difference in the game was number of free passes Falls drew from Hudson pitching.
Hudson starting pitcher Shayna Smith (0-3) and reliever Nikki Turner combined to give up seven walks and four hit batsmen.
“Until we are able to work in the strike zone, we’re going to struggle,” Sewell said. “For us, we’re starting to find out who we are. As long as I can keep the girls positive, we should be fine.”
Falls coach Kori Brown said her team did a decent job taking advantage of its scoring opportunities, though she would have like to have seen a lot more.
“They may have outhit us, but you’ve got to take what they offer,” Brown said. “Our defense held them. We made some pretty good plays, but we left a lot of runners on base. That’s unacceptable.”
A case in point for Falls was the top of the first inning, which Allie Bennett led off with a triple. After a walk and a hit batsman loaded the bases, catcher Briann Hamric drew a bases loaded walk to make it 1-0.
Third baseman Kimmie Carrel later hit an RBI single to make it 2-0, but the Black Tigers left the bases loaded.
Carrell got an second RBI single in the top of the third, driving home shortstop Callie Collins to make it 3-0.
Hudson got on the board in the bottom of the third, after Falls’ lone error of the game was followed by singles from Erika Howard and Sara Gedeon.
Center fielder Nicole Means then drew a bases loaded make to make it 3-1, but Howard was forced out at the plate on a fielder’s choice.
Third baseman Emily Hookway legged out an infield single to score Gedeon.
However, Falls replied with four runs in the top of the fourth inning — and did so with only one hit. First baseman Kristy Fryberger had a one out single to load the bases.
After that, Falls drew a walk and two hit batsman to score three runs. The final run scored when Kate Lukosavich reached base on an error, making it 7-2 Falls in the middle of the fourth inning.
To its credit, Hudson attempted a comeback.
With one out in the bottom of the fifth, catcher Eden Janesch smashed a triple off the fence and came home on a wild pitch. After Turner single, Brown lifted starting pitcher Samantha Righley in favor of Kristy Fryberger.
However, Fryberger then gave up a double to Hookway to make it 7-4.
Hudson kept coming in sixth inning as Gedeon smacked a one-out double. That was followed by an RBI triple form Nicole Means. Means would later score on a fielder’s choice cutting it to 7-6 after six inning.
“Kristy supplies a lot of power,” Brown said. “If they get the bat on the ball, its going to go. She’s got some movement on her pitches.”
Fryberger’s power paid off in the bottom of the seventh inning. Although the Explorers had Howard on third base and Gedeon on second with two outs, Fryberger struck out Means to end the game.