LAND O'LAKES — In the past Land O'Lakes has enjoyed having one of the more veteran squads in Pasco County.
But this season has been a little different for the Gators. Friday night, their youth caught up with them versus rival River Ridge, as the Gators committed six errors and missed several crucial opportunities against one of the North Suncoast's best pitchers in a 4-1 loss.
"We're just not playing a complete game, and if you take out a couple innings here and there it's a 1-1 ball game," Land O'Lakes coach Jamie Martin said. "We left a lot of runners on base and we are just not finishing things."
The Royal Knights' Lakyn Shull (eight strikeouts) allowed her first earned run of the season on a home run to Lauryn Turcotte to lead off the bottom of the first inning and tie the game at 1. After the inning Shull told her teammates to give her one run.
They gave her three.
In the fifth the Royal Knights (9-1) scored on singles to leftfield by Amber Jones and Shull off Gators starter Kasey Murray (six strikeouts) for a 3-1 lead. In the bottom of the sixth the Gators (7-4) had runners on second and third with no outs, but Shull struck out the next two batters and forced Lexie Bailey to fly out to rightfield.