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Softball can't recover against HCA

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By Jenna McKenna

Sharks middle school softball got off to a rocky start against Hernando Christian Academy and never recovered, falling 12-1 in five innings against the Lady Lions.

Pitcher Miranda Haire struck out HCA's first batter, but a cascade of errors allowed the next six batters to get on and score, putting the Sharks in a deep hole at the beginning of the game.

Cedar Key struggled on offense, too, going down in order until the fourth inning, when Jade Watson singled, and then stole her way all the way home. Hers was the Sharks' lone score on the night.

After Watson got on base, Haley Simpson worked the count for a walk, but was put out at second in a fielders' choice. In the fifth inning, Alicia Lambert ran out a dropped third strike to get on base, but was stranded at the final out.

After the Lions' big first inning, they had little more success at the plate than did the Sharks. Haire's pitch count dropped as the defense tightened up and she started mowing batters down. She finished with 10 strikeouts and allowed seven hits, two walks and one hit batter.

"We started off slow, but we bounced back and played well the next four innings," said Sharks' head coach Aaron Haldeman.

"I think we're doing pretty good for such a young team. They work hard in practice and they have a good attitude."