For The Tribune

Chad Goecker said you can’t give a good softball team as many opportunities, as what Trinity Lutheran handed Borden on Tuesday afternoon in the Class A regional on the Cougars’ diamond.

“Defensively we had some errors that you just can’t have when you play competition like this,” the coach said following the 8-0 loss.

“We knew we were going to have to play pretty much a perfect game defensively, and we didn’t do that. You cannot give good teams opportunities. They’ll take advantage of it, and that’s what happened. They took advantage of everything that we gave them.”

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The Braves started putting pressure on the Cougars in the top of the first inning as Paige Schindler and Riley Schindler opened the game with doubles, and it was quickly 1-0. Riley scored later in the inning on a fielder’s choice.

Riley Schindler drove in a run in the third inning on a triple for a 3-0 lead.

The extra opportunities that Goecker was talking about came in the third and fourth innings when the Cougars made two errors in each inning.

Also, Trinity’s Hannah Deaton walked a batter in each inning and threw two wild pitches and that added up to five runs and an 8-0 lead.

The Cougars finished with four errors and only three of Borden’s runs were earned.

Paige Schindler didn’t give the Cougars many opportunities to get back in the game offensively as she struck out eight, didn’t walk any and allowed only three singles.

“We just had a hard time timing her up, and she’s got good movement,” Goecker said. “She’s got a good drop curve, a good screwball and she came in with a different game plan than what we anticipated.”

“We had watched her pitch the other day, and we were anticipating more of a screwball, and we didn’t see much of that. The umpire was giving her the outside of the plate, and that’s mainly where she worked. She’s an exceptional pitcher. She can put it where she wants. She threw mostly strikes. We just had a hard time catching up to her.”

Morgan Gabbard singled with two out in the third inning and advanced to second on an error on the left fielder, but the next batter struck out.

Jodi Goecker beat out a bunt hit with one out in the fourth but fly outs to right field and first base left the Cougars sophomore stranded on first base.

Deaton led off the fifth with a single but the next batter hit into a double play and she was the Cougars’ final base runner as Schindler retired the final seven Trinity batters.

The Cougars, who started only one senior Tuesday, finished 13-7.

“As we start to see better competition and start to put better tams on our schedule, we’re going to see better pitchers,” Goecker said. “We know we’ll see her again next year. Hopefully we’ll put ourselves in positions where we’ll see better pitching, and when we get to this situation we’re more prepared.”

It was the first regional game in the school’s softball history.

“(Hosting the regional) was great,” Goecker said. “We had a big crowd here. We are proud of the girls and the season we had. We’re young and we’ve got a lot of great things to look forward to. Its games like this that make you better. Run-ruling teams does us no good. We’ve got to step up our schedule. This was a learning experience for us.”

Borden, ranked No. 5 in Class 1A, is 18-2 and will face the winner of the Tecumseh-Loogootee game in the North Daviess semistate on Saturday.

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Arv Koontz is a sports correspondent for The (Seymour) Tribune.