SEVERN, MD. -- If the Central Lakes College softball team played like it did at the end of the regular season and in the Region 13 tournament, Raiders coach Dennis Eastman knows his team could compete at the national level.
But, unfortunately for the Raiders, that was not the case.
CLC lost both of its games Thursday -- 10-4 to Orange County (N.Y.) and 12-4 in five innings to Broome (N.Y.) -- in the Division III Community College National Tournament at Randazzo Field. The Raiders were scheduled to play in the seventh-place game at 10 a.m. today.
"I'm disappointed but not disappointed with the team," Eastman said. "We didn't play our normal game. We didn't play the usual way we can play. If we play like we should have, then we're as competitive as anybody else."
Everything the Raiders did that got them to the national tournament abandoned them Thursday. The pitching allowed 22 runs and 26 hits in the two games, the defense committed three costly errors and the offense managed only eight runs and 14 hits.
"It isn't very often we have been beaten by the eight-run rule," said Raiders freshman Becky Poster. "You always go into games thinking you can win. We didn't expect to lose by that much.
"They're not any better than the top teams in Minnesota, but they definitely deserved to be there."
One team which deserved to be there and has been there for the last three years was Orange County. And the Raiders looked a little intimidated.
"In the first game we were a little nervous," said Poster, a second baseman/outfielder from Pierz. "We didn't expect to be here in the first place. It affected us a little in the first game, but not too much in the second game. Practice was different; it was a whole different routine."
Orange County took advantage of three early Raiders errors and scored eight runs in the first three innings.
"Nerves came into play that first inning," Eastman said. "You could see the glossed look in their eyes. I was hoping to snap out of it but they couldn't do it."
Raiders starting pitcher Jenny Sovich settled down and retired 11 of 12 batters in one stretch. Poster was 2-for-3 with a run scored and an RBI to lead the CLC offense, while Amy Martinson doubled and Becki Wagner and Jolene Otteson each recorded singles.
The Raiders' bats came alive in the second game, but they spotted Broome a 9-2 lead after two innings. CLC pitchers walked nine Hornet batters and allowed 12 hits.
Poster was 2-for-2 with a run, Otteson was 2-for-3 with a run and two RBI and Wagner was 2-for-3 with an RBI.
"This is something we're never going to forget," Eastman said. "I just wish we would have been able to play a little better."
Orange County 215 000 2 -- 10 14 4
Central Lakes 021 100 0 -- 4 5 3
Orange County -- Karen Gabriel and Sue Church. CLC -- Jenny Sovich and Lee Zahler. WP -- Gabriel. LP -- Sovich. 2B -- Kariann Holbrook (OC), Robyn Blaich (OC), Shannon Shakespeare (OC), Darlene Estevez (OC), Amy Martinson (CLC). Overall -- OC 25-7, CLC 21-10.
Central Lakes 200 20 -- 4 9 0
Broome 361 02 -- 12 12 1
CLC -- Nanette Ostlund, Sovich (2) and Zahler. Broome -- Lacie Natyshak and Cori Harris. WP -- Natyshak. LP -- Ostlund. Overall -- CLC 21-11, Broome 24-8. Next Game -- CLC vs. Hesston, 10 a.m. today in the seventh-place game at Randazzo Park in Severn, Md.
College of DuPage (Ill.) 13, Adirondack (N.Y.) 4
Brookdale (N.J.) 9, Hesston College (Kan.) 1
Anne Arundel (Md.) 12, Broome (N.Y.) 0
Orange County (N.Y.) 10, Central Lakes 4
Adirondack 15, Hesston 5
Broome 12, Central Lakes 4 (5 inn.)
DuPage 8, Brookdale 2
Anne Arundel 3, Orange County 0
Central Lakes vs. Hesston 10 a.m.
Orange County vs. Adirondack noon
Broome vs. Brookdale 12:30 p.m.
Orange/Adirondack winner vs. Broome/Brookdale winner 4 p.m.
Orange/Adirondack loser vs. Broome/Brookdale loser 2:30 p.m.
DuPage vs. Anne Arundel 6 p.m.
Championship 1 p.m.
Championship 4 p.m. if necessary
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