DUBUQUE — Despite being eliminated Thursday night, Clinton’s softball team is satisfied where the program is going.
Dubuque Hempstead defeated Clinton 11-0 in five innings, including three runs right off the bat in the first.
Grace Dornbush was the starting pitcher for the River Queens (5-29), and she didn’t get much defensive support. Hempstead’s leadoff hitter, Brie Tauber, reached base on a Sydney Davis error. Four batters later, Clinton committed another error, which led to Hempstead’s first run.
Courtney Ryder then reached second base on a line drive that Avery Coppess couldn’t handle.
After the dust settled, Hempstead was ahead 3-0 before the River Queens were able to do anything about it.
“I don’t know if we came as prepared mentally as we should have,” Clinton coach Emily Hoague said. “We didn’t get all the girls together until 3:30 this afternoon. It’s been a weird week with rainouts in both varsity and JV, and we haven’t been to practice as a whole team.
“I don’t think the girls were nervous,” Hoague added. “I think it’s still a thing of once someone makes an error, it becomes a snowball effect, and we were trying to knock that from happening.”
The River Queens had a chance to light up the scoreboard, too.
In the second inning, Brittany Coppess led off with a single to left field. She advanced to third base on a bunt single that Brandy Peska laid down on a sacrifice attempt, but beat out the throw and advanced to second while the Hempstead infield was trying to get Coppess out at third base.
Coppess tried to score on an Emma Ferguson squeeze attempt but was tagged out (scored 5-2) on a rundown.
Hempstead pitcher Sarah Lauer kept the River Queens quiet after the second-inning rally with two in scoring position.