May 16th, 2017

Jaguars fall to Male

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Conor Revell

Managing Editor

Jaguars fall to Male
Mercy's Lexi Ray makes a pitch with Jordyn Sanders (third base) looking on / photo by Conor Revell

When No. 3 Male hosted Mercy’s 15th-ranked softball team, it came down to two sisters on opposing teams.

Male defeated the Jaguars 5-3 Tuesday night in a matchup of Sixth and Seventh Region powers.

“Our fielding absolutely hurt us tonight,” Mercy head coach Greg Meiners said. “The good news is we’re not in the postseason and we have a week to go. But, I was thrilled to be playing Male tonight, we were on an eight game winning streak and we hadn’t faced any adversity. We had some adversity and we have to have the leadership to see if we can rebound. We did okay with that.”

Freshman Jaelyn Sanders manned the circle for the Bulldogs (20-3) while senior Jordyn Sanders plays third base for Mercy (21-10).

The Bulldogs led 5-3 in the top of the sixth and the younger Sanders had accidentally let the ball slipped out of her hand to walk Mercy’s Abby Wilder to load the bases with two outs.

“I had to tell myself that I was okay,” Jaelyn Sanders said. “I have no clue why I stressed over a walk. I just forgot about the walk and moved on.”

Jordyn Sanders was the next hitter and stepped up to the plate.

“I went up there and I was a bit nervous,” Jordyn Sanders said. “I tried to get my bat on the ball but like my parents say even the best players strike out. It kind of tore me up a little but I’m over it now.”

Facing a 1-2 count, Jordyn struck out ending the threat.

“I think Jaelyn had an advantage,” Male head coach Josh Bloomer said. “If it’s an average pitcher, the hitter can probably adjust. But Jaelyn isn’t average and neither is Lexi (Ray) on Mercy. They’re both Division I pitchers. Jaelyn knew what Jordyn likes and what she doesn’t so she threw it at a particular spot. What a game.”

The Jaguars couldn’t muster anything in the seventh as Jaelyn recorded a groundout and then struck out the final two hitters to end the game.

“First off I hope we learned that we never give up on a game,” Meiners said. “I look at this as an opportunity to look at the bloop hits Male got and figure out where we miscommunicated. To me it’s a little bit of motivation for us to work on that so we can head the right way. I wished we could have won but it’s not the end of the world. I’m thrilled we got to play Male tonight.”

Male went up 2-0 in the bottom of the first when Madison McCoy singled with one out and moved to second as Mercy pitcher Lexi Ray walked Bayleigh Masterson.

McCoy and Masterson then did a double steal giving the Bulldogs runners at second and third with one out.

McCoy then scored on a wild pitch and Masterson moved to third and then scored on Jaelyn Sanders infield single.

“I think our aggressive base running help,” Bloomer said. “We found some spots. We didn’t get line drives and doubles but we found a way to get the ball to fall. We got a break with a wild pitch. You have to limit your strike outs against a pitcher like Lexi. You have to put the ball in play and make their defense make a play. We wanted to make Mercy make 21 defensive outs.”

The Jaguars answered in the second when Madison Dykes singled and Jordyn Sanders walked. Dykes scored on Amber Reed’s base hit and Jordyn Sanders moved to third.

With two outs, Reed stole second and Jordyn Sanders tied the game when she went home on the throw to second.

Male scored its final three runs in the third inning when Masterson delivered an RBI single and Sarah Elzey’s bloop single scored two runs with two outs.

Jaelyn Sanders pitched a complete game for Male and allowed three runs, five hits, walked four, and struck out three.

Ray tossed a complete game for Mercy and allowed five runs; four earned; five hits, walked one, and struck out five.

“I think we have to start out with the lead at the beginning of games,” Jordyn Sanders said. “We have done that in previous games. I think we were a little nervous coming into tonight. Our defense needs to tighten up but I think we will be fine.”

Follow Louisville Catholic Sports tomorrow for an in-depth feature on sisters Jaelyn Sanders (Male) and Jordyn Sanders (Mercy) squaring off against one another. Josh Bloomer, Greg Meiners, Jaelyn and Jordyn and their dad Pete Sanders had comments. 


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