It has been a tough week for Hereford's softball team — made all the more difficult by a last-inning, four-run rally by North Harford for a 10-7 victory Thursday afternoon in Parkton.
Hereford started the season 3-0, but the Bulls dropped to 3-2 after losing to Eastern Tech, 11-1, on Tuesday and to North Harford on Thursday.
The Hawks' rally came against junior pitcher LeAnne Collins, who gave up seven earned runs on nine hits while striking out 10.
"That's the most runs she's ever given up," Hereford coach Laura Blama said of her three-year ace.
Alexis Lyttle (2-for-4, home run, 2 RBIs) and Juliane Caughron (2-for-3, home run, 2 RBIs) led the Hawks' offense.
Collins issued walks to Amanda Roberts and Caughron to start the seventh for the Hawks (2-4-1).
The next batter, Kaitlyn Horsey, singled to right field to plate Roberts, making it 7-7. An error by the right fielder allowed the runners to move up a base.
Lyttle followed with a bunt hit to bring home Caughron. Abbey Carnivale then walked and Rebecca Simon finished the Hawks' scoring by knocking in Horsey and Lyttle with a single to center field.
North Harford went ahead 4-0 by scoring two runs in both the second and third innings. Lyttle clubbed a solo home run in the second and Caughron had a two-run homer in the third.
Hereford answered with four runs in the third and broke a 4-4 tie in the fourth inning with three runs. In the fourth, Collins (2-for-4) and Catie Denz (2-for-4, 2 RBIs) scored on an error and Melissa Wallace (2-for-4) drove in Maddie Crowley with a single.
But the Bulls' offense sputtered the rest of the way.
Lyttle, a sophomore pitcher who replaced freshman Hunter Harbaugh after two batters in the fourth, was strong in the final three innings.
Lyttle gave up two hits and stuck out four batters in that span.
"They (Hereford) were starting to hit my first pitcher, so I had to switch them and give them a different look," North Harford coach Cara Testerman said. "And they really didn't get any good hits off my second pitcher."