Laurel loses to Flowers in softball

Late in Laurel's softball game Friday against visiting Flowers, Spartans' coach Julie Provino looked over at her scorekeeper and asked, "What's the score?, What's the inning?"

It was a forgettable performance for Laurel.

Laurel led early, 5-1, but ended up losing, 19-6, in a game shortened to five innings because of the 10-run slaughter rule.

Flowers (13-2) scored seven runs in the top of the third inning and added six more in the fourth to frustrate the Spartans.

"We have an issue on this team," said Provino, whose team also lost to Flowers, 18-8, on April 19. "We get down and we just don't come back up. I am not sure why it is. I am trying to get on them for that.

"The last time we played them, it was the same thing. We were up, 6-3, had a bad inning and never came back."

Senior second baseman Dani Conway had the best offensive performance for Laurel, going 2-for-3 with two RBIs. Katie Cardinal walked, singled, scored a run and made a couple of nice defensive plays.

The Spartans (11-5) had trouble solving Flowers senior pitcher Marissa Hughes after the first inning.

Hughes gave up four hits (all singles) in five innings. She struck out four and walked one.

Jaguars' coach Molly Bender calls Hughes the best pitcher in Prince George's County.

"She will go on and play in college next year at Virginia State," the coach said. "She knows the game really well and can move the ball around really well. When she goes onto college, she will have to increase her speed and her spots a little more."

Laurel scored five unearned runs on five errors off of Hughes in the first inning. Conway drove in Michelle Craft and Tia Craft on a single to right field. Zelle Ndika had an infield hit.  

Flowers took the lead for good in the third with seven unearned runs off of freshman pitcher Ashley Woodall on two errors, a walk, wild pitch and three singles, two of which were bloop hits.

The Jaguars pushed across six more runs (two unearned) in the fourth on three walks, two errors and two singles.

Hughes (3-for-3, RBIs) and Alyssa Smith (2-for-2) led a Flowers' offense that finished with eight hits.

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