The early-season miscues that the Central College softball team managed to avoid through its first eight games all seemed to surface Wednesday as the Dutch escaped Sul Ross State 5-3 then surrendered a seventh-inning lead in stumbling to a 10-5 loss to Wisconsin-La Crosse. The ninth-ranked Dutch yielded 12 unearned runs and committed eight errors on the day. Central had made just four errors in the first eight games while never giving up more than four runs in a contest.
Against Sul Ross State, Central had eight hits, but failed to score an earned run. The Dutch allowed two seventh-inning runs as the Lobos brought the tying run to the plate before Mallory Schulenberg closed the door. Schulenberg allowed just one earned run on five hits with one walk and five strikeouts. First baseman Abby Strajack had two hits, scored two runs and was on base three times.
In the nightcap against La Crosse, the two teams traded the lead back and forth, with Central clinging to a 5-4 lead with one out in the seventh, when an error on a tough-hop ground ball followed by a pair of singles let Wisconsin-La Crosse tie it at 5-5. The Eagles then erupted for five more runs after another error, a hit batter and two more hits. Brie Haycraft suffered her first loss of the season, dropping to 3-1 after pitching in relief of Rhianna Fleetwood.
Central is now 8-2 and tries for a quick rebound Friday, meeting Denison University and Lakeland College.