“Defensively, we played great,” Bryan Jubina said. “That tying run, we got out at home. We played well.”
Taking the chance on sending Wentz was a byproduct of what had happened a play earlier, according to Windber coach Cory Pavlosky.
“The previous play, I saw the girl threw one away that sort of bobbled around in the infield that the pitcher had to get,” Pavlosky said. “So I was like: ‘Well, if you’re going to take a risk, you’re going to take a risk in a tie ballgame at home.’ I tried to send her, hoping that throw was off-kilter, but she made a heck of a play with a dead-target throw.
“Once in a while, that gamble pays off, but in this case it didn’t.”
After leaving a pair of runners in scoring position to end the fourth as Wentz made a sliding catch on a line drive to center from Heidler, Portage went ahead to stay in the fifth when Kaitlin Jubina singled and advanced to third when Casey Schreyer misplayed the hop in right field. Jordan Caurvina grounded out to shortstop a batter later to bring in the Mustangs outfielder.
The misplay in the outfield was the sixth Windber error, leading to the second unearned run scored by the Mustangs.
That being said, Pavlosky wasn’t the type to rant and rave about his inexperienced squad’s miscues.
“We had three freshmen out there (Thursday), because a some of our subs are on an educational trip,” Pavlosky said. “This is the first time on our field in terms of an organized nine out on the field, because we’ve had some construction done and with the weather the way it’s been. It was shaky at first, but as the game progressed, they settled in and played fine. We just didn’t get enough runs.”
The Ramblers notched two more baserunners the rest of the way, but didn’t get a runner past second.
Heidler fanned eight and allowed eight hits in getting the win. Windber’s Krista Walker struck out two and scattered six hits in the tough-luck defeat.
Shawn Curtis is the sports editor of The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/shawncurtis430.