CEDAR LAKE | Catching the ball is an important part of the game.
Unfortunately for Hanover Central, it had trouble doing that Wednesday night in a 9-4 loss to Griffith.
"We stunk. We're a lot better ball team than we showed today," Wildcat coach Larry McMillen said. "They played like a summer-league team today."
The turning point was a three-run Panther sixth inning during which Hanover Central committed five errors. Tied coming into the frame at 4-4, Griffith never let the Wildcats recover.
"We took advantage of the soft infield a couple times," Panther coach Ed McCleod said. "After a striking out 12 times against Andrean Monday night, I'm pretty happy about just putting the bat on the ball."
The Wildcats made eight errors in total.
McCleod said the Panthers (5-2) had a shuffled lineup because a few players were late to the game.
"We had some girls step up and play in different positions today and they did a good job," he said.
Pitcher Rhiannon Cox was one of those who were late. As a result, she didn't get into the game until the third inning. Cox gave up only one run and one hit while striking out four in five innings.
"She's had her chance to shine this year and she's taken advantage of it," McCleod said. "I've got all the trust in her in the world."
H.C. had chances. In the fourth inning, Ashley Yoways double appeared to score both Christina Zychowski and McKenna Russell.
After a conference on the infield between the umpires and McCleod, Russell was ruled to have been tagged out. In the next Wildcat at bat, Ivy Dawson rocketed a line drive right at shortstop Alexis Atkinson with two runners on to end the inning.
McMillen said his team had a much better offensive showing in games against North Newton and Kankakee Valley last week.
"(Griffith) hit the ball a whole lot better than we did," McMillen said. "We were lucky to score four runs the way we hit today."
Atkinson was 3-5 with two runs and an RBI for the Panthers.