SPRING HILL — The site might have been different, but in getting bounced from the playoffs Friday afternoon, Bishop McLaughlin found itself repeating history thanks to silent bats and a couple of errors.
The Hurricanes fell in a Class 2A region semifinal rematch with Lakeland Christian 3-1.
Bishop McLaughlin (16-11) was eliminated by the Vikings (15-5) last season as well, but the sting was a little harsher this time around.
Hurricanes starter Kelsey Butler was stellar throughout, tossing another gem. After a high-5.00 earned run average in the regular season, the junior right-hander has been amazing since the postseason began. She has surrendered only two earned runs in 25 innings with 20 strikeouts.
Her effort against Lakeland Christian was no exception. She tossed a complete game, giving up only one earned run.
A miscue from second baseman Megan Malone opened scoring for the Vikings, and another crucial error from third baseman Andrea Niggebrugge allowed the go-ahead run to get on base in the seventh.
“(Kelsey) deserved the win,” Bishop McLaughlin coach John Yaratch said. “The loss was not her fault. She did an outstanding job, and got her 100th strikeout of the year in this game. That says something.”
At the plate, the Hurricanes mustered only six hits off Lakeland Christian starter Helen Long. While the hurler didn’t possess a blazing fastball, movement kept batters balance all game.
“The errors hurt us big time again, but it all came down to the fact that they wanted this game more than we did,” Yaratch said.
“We didn’t take advantage when we could have, and we didn’t hit the way we know we can.”