It was one of those situations where a team simply had to take its lumps and go home. And that's exactly what Central did in a 15-4 loss to Citrus on Tuesday.
Playing without injured pitchers Jenny Clark (strained back) and Riki Aulozzi (sprained ankle) the Bears (8-7) knew the odds were against them, but they probably weren't counting on the situation reaching such a critical state.
Citrus, meanwhile, couldn't have picked a better night to continue its emergence from a season-long hitting slump. It got 11 hits in four innings against the previously untested duo of Tonya Stevenson (0-1) and Heather Krasniewski.
"Their pitching was about average," Citrus coach Scott Waters said. "They came out and did a good job, but we have been hitting the ball well lately. We've really picked it up the last three or four games. And this was the team I was hoping would show up tonight."
Citrus trailed 1-0 entering the bottom of the second but struck for three runs and did not trail again. Consecutive errors allowed Whitney Gelin and Amy Bowen to reach base before a wild pitch sandwiched between RBI singles by Candice Pekins and Brittney Doyle allowed three runs to score.
The Hurricanes (10-5) piled it on in the third, striking for nine runs on seven hits. Amber Presnick and Gelin led off with singles and were brought home on a two-run triple by Bowen, who scored on a single by Pekins.
Krissi Castiglione brought home Pekins with a base hit, and Mettina Maggiore closed out the inning with a triple that scored Castiglione, Brittney Doyle and Jessica Macdonald.
Central answered with three runs in the fourth. It scored two on an overthrow to first by Castiglione and another on a single by Angie Paxton.
However, that was as close as the Bears got thanks to a three-run Citrus rally in the fourth that ended the game on the 10-run mercy rule.
"We didn't have Jenny Clark or Riki Aulozzi, but we played the game and took it on the chin," said Central coach Benny Martinez, whose team beat Citrus in their earlier meeting this season. "That's just the way it goes."