By Andy Warrener
The Laker/Lutz News Correspondent
Wharton softball suffered its fourth straight loss, falling 3-2 at Class 8A-District 7 rival Plant March 28.
The Wildcats (8-5) posted a run in the third inning and another in the fourth, but gave up three during the last two frames.
“We’ve just got to get better, improve and prepare for districts,” said Wharton coach Ashlee Cappucci.
It was a tough loss for the Wildcats who earlier in the week dropped an 11-10 game to 8A-7 opponent Alonso.
Wharton won a February meeting with the Panthers (14-7) and could have moved into a comfortable fourth place spot going into the last two weeks of the regular season.
The Wildcats scored the game’s opening run when Sam Hathcoat reached on an infield error. The senior’s hustle beat out the throw after her grounder was bobbled to give her squad a 1-0 lead.
Wharton sophomore pitcher Makeleigh Dooley kept Plant hitless through four innings before Plant freshman Caroline Grieves hit a two-run home run to tie the game.
The Panthers led off the sixth with a triple by Samantha Lastres, who came home on a sacrifice fly for the game’s decisive run.
Cappucci isn’t happy with the result, but understands that nothing comes easy in 8A-7.
“I believe it (8A-7) is the toughest in the county,” Cappucci said. “Any day it could be anyone’s ball game.”
Dooley pitched six innings and gave up three earned runs on five hits, while striking out five and walking one. Her record drops to 8-5, and the Wildcats district record falls to 3-5 with district games against Bloomingdale and Durant remaining.
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