UNION MILLS | Westville coach Gary Dick thought a lack of execution -- not effort --was the defining factor Wednesday afternoon.
The Blackhawks committed four errors -- leading to five unearned runs -- were caught on the base paths three times and doubled off once in a heartbreaking 7-6 loss to Triton in the semifinals of the Class A South Central Sectional.
"I think we were trying too hard and making mistakes," Dick said. "I thought I had my team prepared to handle (the pressure)."
Beth Piotrowski only allowed five hits, but she had a pair of throwing errors in the fourth inning which led to three two-out unearned runs and a 7-4 Triton lead.
"Our sophomore pitcher had a tough time for a while," Dick said of Piotrowski, who no-hit Culver Community in the opening round. "She got back up and still pitched an outstanding game."
In the top of the fifth, Westville had a pair of walks and a single, but only four batters came to the plate in the scoreless inning. Both Beth and Katie Piotrowski were caught stealing, at second and third, respectively.
After Westville rallied for two runs in the sixth, Alicia Pontious was doubled off third base on Beth Piotrowski's line drive to shortstop.
"I thought the shortstop was a little farther over, so I sent (Pontious)," Dick said. "I was caught up in the game. I'll take that one."
The Blackhawks (12-11) didn't take advantage of all their opportunities. The Trojans (16-14) won the game despite committing eight errors and allowing six unearned runs.
Westville's Bianka Mendoza had two hits, including a double and scored twice. Katie Piotrowski had two hits, plus Krysten Wilson had a double and scored a run.
Westville had the tying run on second base with two outs in the seventh when reliever Brycelyn Garbison struck out Wilson to end the game.
"We're going to have to play a lot better in the title game," said Triton coach Steve McBride, whose team plays either Argos or the host Satellites in Friday's championship. "Our kids just fight. They kept coming back, but so did Westville. I didn't relax until the last out."
Westville loses four seniors to graduation, and they found a way to remain positive.
"Everybody gave 100 percent," shortstop Kristyn Swanson said. "I couldn't have asked to be on a better team."