RIVERSIDE — The term game face is used a lot in sports. Although it is not really about a person’s face, it is about their state of mind.
The Highland High School softball team did not have the right state of mind Tuesday in a 9-3 Southeast Iowa Super Conference North Division loss to the visitors from Pekin.
“We had some emotional issues, so we have to work on that,” Highland coach Carrie Wieland said.
Highland took a 2-0 lead in the first inning when Aly Stokes and Emily Yahnke both singled and both stole a base. Both scored on Sarah Schneider’s single.
It was 3-0 after the third inning because Abbie Miller singled, then hustled home when Schneider’s hit was misplayed. Highland had just three baserunners the rest of the game.
Pekin tied the game in the fourth inning, then took command in the sixth with a single and three consecutive home runs for an 8-3 lead.
“It was their night and not our night,” Wieland said. “We should’ve had some of our own dingers.”
“We have been hitting the ball well, we just have not been hitting the gaps but we did that tonight,” Pekin coach Shelby Atwood said. “Three consecutive home runs, wow, that was pretty sweet to see.”
Wieland changed pitchers after the second homer, but the first pitch was another blast.
“They just hit the snot out of the ball,” Wieland said. “Shelby has them playing like they are supposed to and she has done a good job with them.”
Highland has four eighth-graders on the varsity sqaud.
“Jessica (Kraus) came in and did a great job pitching. I am super proud of her,” Wieland said. “Defensively we cannot give anybody six outs. We know what our pitching is going to do. We cannot give a team extra outs. We have to score when we have runners on base. Three runs is not going to win a game. When there is a pop-up we have to catch it. When there is a grounder, we have to get an out. We know that, we’ve known that, but we just did not do that. We live and learn.”
Highland is 10-7, 8-4 North. Pekin is 10-10, The Huskies play at Van Buren today.