Errors spoil Fruita’s solid start in loss to Central

The more errors a team commits, the less likely it is that team will win.

Tuesday night at Bergman Field, Fruita Monument played a flawless first three innings against Central and found itself up 3-0.

But three innings, seven errors and 14 runs later, the Wildcats (16-2, 8-1 Southwestern League) were walking off the field being handed a 14-3 defeat.

“You can’t have seven errors and win against anyone,” Fruita Monument coach Jamie Dunn said. “Especially against a team like Central. They hit the ball and made some adjustments.”

Central (14-1, 5-1 SWL) made adjustments right out of the gate, getting leadoff hitter Jessica Romine on in the top of the first inning. Fruita Monument had its ace, Erika Chirdon, on the mound, and she was able to induce Tayler Else to hit into a double play, then struck out Danielle Romine to get out of the inning.

“I talked about trying to get on the board first and get some momentum built up,” Central coach Scott Else said. “We didn’t quite get that accomplished.”

The Wildcats mimicked the first game between the two teams, a 2-1 Fruita win, by scoring early. Kendra Williams led off with a single and was brought around by her older sister, Brooke. The elder Williams hit a shot off Mikayla Duffy to left field, but was thrown out attempting to stretch the double into a triple.

Fruita added two more runs in the second inning when Taylor Johnson and Jordan Paulson hit back-to-back doubles. Ashley Hyde’s RBI single drove in Paulson.

“We were up 3-0, then seemed to kick it into neutral,” Dunn said. “We got a little relaxed.”

Chirdon stayed hot in the third inning, striking out the side. Down 3-0 in the fourth inning, Central got things going.

Danielle Romine led off the inning with a double, which was followed by a Duffy single. The next batter, Brittany Hoppe, scored Romine on an error at shortstop.

With the lead cut to 3-1, Erin Martinez hit a two-run single to score Duffy and Hoppe.

“The momentum clearly shifted once they starting making errors,” Else said. “I had to remind our girls that we aren’t quitting and we aren’t going to panic. They responded and I couldn’t be any prouder.”

The Wildcats committed two more errors in the inning, which allowed the Warriors to take a 6-3 lead. Over the next two innings, Fruita had its opportunities to cut into the lead, but left five runners on base.

While Fruita was missing its chances, Central took advantage of the Wildcats’ mistakes in the field. The Warriors put the game away with a eight-run sixth inning in which Fruita committed four errors.

“We made costly errors at the wrong time,” Dunn said. “But it’s nice to know we aren’t invincible. We’ll make some adjustments and get better.”

Duffy improved to 11-1 as Central heads into a four-game stretch this weekend to end the regular season with doubleheaders at Durango and Montezuma-Cortez. Fruita wraps up regular-season play Friday at Montrose.

Central is in line for the SWL title if both teams win out by winning the common opponent tiebreaker. Central defeated Smoky Hill and Fruita Monument lost to the Buffaloes at the Dave Sanders Memorial Tournament.


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