The Jefferson Blue Jays (6-10) looked to bounce back from their Monday night loss to Saxony Lutheran on Tuesday when they hosted the Desoto Dragons (3-15). Unfortunately the Blue Jays couldn’t capitalize on their eight runs scored and fell to the Dragons 11-8.
Jefferson has had a difficult second half of the season having lost their game the night before to Saxony Lutheran. The Blue Jays looked to bounce back from the tough 5-4 loss on Tuesday night when they faced off against conference foes, the Desoto Dragons.
Handling the pitching duties for Jefferson was junior Cami Menke. Menke came into the game having pitched 20 1/3 innings with an ERA 8.26 and a WHIP of 2.41.
Desoto started the scoring in the top of the second after a pair of errors from Allison Campbell and Brynn Wilson got two runners on base, only one of which scored after a fielder’s choice.
The score remained at 1-0 until the following inning where the Dragons put six runs on the board, three of which came off back-to-back home runs early in the inning.
The Blue Jays were able to get on the board in the bottom half of the inning. The scoring started when Catryn Cattoor brought home Paige Wagner on a double. Cattoor then scored when Menke singled to center field. The Blue Jays then got an additional run as Brittany Bittick singled to drive home Menke, making the score 7-3.
After Menke kept the Dragons scoreless in the fourth, Jefferson closed the gap by one more run when Campbell scored on an error off the bat of Gabby Schumer, tightening the game to 7-4.
In the fifth Desoto struck back, after the Dragons scored on a wild pitch and then a two-RBI triple, extending their lead to 10-4.
Jefferson wasn’t going down without a fight, though. In the bottom of the fourth, the Blue Jays bats came alive. Maggie Brunke, Cattoor and Menke drove home four runs to close the gap to just two, making the score 10-8.
The Dragons scored one more run in the top of the seventh for an 11-8 lead, but down only three, the Blue Jays had a shot to tie or win the game in the bottom of the seventh. After a pair of walks, Brunke singled to load the bases and put the winning run at the plate, but the Dragons secured the final two outs to end the game.
Menke was given the loss for the Blue Jays after pitching 6 1/3 innings giving up 11 runs (seven earned) on nine hits, four walks and two home runs.
The Blue Jays’ struggles in the field were a major contributing factor in the loss. Jefferson had eight errors on the night that led to four runs, which was costly with the Jays only losing by three. Three players committed two or more errors.
At the plate, the bat of Menke was vital in keeping the Blue Jays in the game late. Menke went 3-4 with three RBIs and a run scored.
Another contributor at the plate for Jefferson was Brunke, who went 3-5 and RBI and a run scored.
Brunke said after the game that the defensive mistakes proved to be a major factor in the loss.
“It wasn’t too bad of a game,” Brunke said. “But we made some silly mistakes on defense that could have prevented some runs.”
Cattoor and Campbell were also positive additions to the Blue Jays offense. Cattoor went 3-5 with two RBIs, a double and a run scored while Campbell went 1-2 with two walks, a double and two runs scored.
While the end result was disappointing, head coach Robert Kuehnle said he was still happy with the team’s effort.
“Girls rallied back; we were in a good position to take care of business and cap it off,” Kuehnle said. “Girls played hard tonight and I am proud of them. Sometimes you just don’t come away with a win.”
The Blue Jays will have another opportunity to improve their conference record on Wednesday night when they head to Festus to take on the Tigers.