VILSECK, Germany – The Patch Lady Panthers collected just six hits in total Saturday but still managed to split a softball doubleheader and stay atop the East Region standings.
Vilseck, behind a complete-game four-hitter thrown by Deraj’ McClinton, handed Patch its first loss of the season, taking the opener, 8-5. But Patch (11-1), held to just two hits in the nightcap by Vilseck starter Taylor Hall, still claimed the nightcap, 8-6, as their hosts fell to 10-2 after committing five errors.
According to Vilseck coach Jim Hall, McClinton helped her cause at the plate In Game 1 with a 2-for-3 batting performance. Kim Acuna was 2-for-4 for Vilseck and Alex Lopez 2-for-2.
Hall added that Patch was greatly aided in both games by stellar outfield play. He cited a smash to left center stroked by Taylor Hall with the bases loaded that center fielder Janelle Loney ran down to end his team’s threat.
“She’s so fast,” the elder Hall said of Loney, a perennial multisport All-European, “that she gets to everything.”
In Game 2, coach Hall said, “mental and physical mistakes” kept his team from wresting the regional lead from the Lady Panthers.
Akuna went 3-for-4 at the plate to lead Vilseck in that department.
Three-time All-European Bianca Lopez, for the second straight week, went the distance in both games for Patch.
“She threw over 200 pitches,” coach Hall said, adding that his team did a good job of taming her bat. Lopez, who has five home runs this season, managed just one hit over the two games on Saturday.
In other softball of note:
Baumholder 20-7, Lakenheath 13-15: Saturday at Baumholder, the visiting Lancers scored seven times in the top of the first in the opener, only to see the Lady Bucs reply with 12 runs of their own in their half of the inning.
According to Baumholder coach Dennis Yemma, whose team was shut out twice Friday by the four-time defending European D-I champion Ramstein Lady Royals, Wendy Bryan and Bria Johnson each scored four times in the victory.
Baumholder, which endured a no-hitter by Ramstein’s Kathryn Enyeart on Friday, fell to 4-6 after Saturday’s second game despite a home run off the bat of Joella Milledge.
Ashlee Brown and Meagan Adams each collected two hits in the nightcap for Lakenheath (6-6).
AFNORTH 11-16, Alconbury 16-2: Saturday at Brunssum, Netherlands, Ashlee Fowler clubbed two home runs, and Brenda Broadwater and Taylor Bonenclark each tripled for AFNORTH (6-4), which ended Ramstein’s 46-game winning streak in its previous outing.
Alconbury fell to 3-9.