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Leopards leave offense on basepaths in 3-1 loss

Central ace Jen Clark fought through trouble the entire game against host Hernando on Friday, managing to strand 11 baserunners in the Bears' 3-1 win.

Clark (7-5) battled out of her toughest jams in the first and seventh innings.

Hernando loaded the bases with one out in the first with three consecutive singles. Clark answered by striking out the next two hitters.

Hernando again loaded the bases in the seventh thanks to an error and two walks _ Clark's only walks of the game. Clark then retired the next three hitters without allowing a runner to cross the plate.

Clark finished the game despite fighting through a sore back from the outset.

"I was just hoping I could get over the plate, and if they hit it, just make it little hits," Clark said. "Just not over the fence and keep it in play."

Clark allowed five hits and had five strikeouts.

"When I was out there (my back) didn't affect me. I didn't even think about it."

Meanwhile, Hernando ace Chrissy Hartley did all she could to get her team the win. But Hartley's defense did not back her up when the Bears got on base.

The Leopards (11-2) committed four errors, which led directly to all three Central runs as Hartley (7-1) lost for the first time this season.

Hernando's offense had plenty of chances to score as Central (8-6) committed six errors, but Clark consistently worked out of trouble. The only run she allowed was unearned.

"They gave us some opportunities and we didn't take advantage of it. I mean, that should have opened the door for us but it didn't," Hernando coach Ernie Chatman said of Central's errors. "Whenever we made a mistake it opened the door for them."