PEDRO, Ohio — The first game of the season didn’t go according to plan for the lady Trojans.
Portsmouth (0-1) surrendered eight runs in the bottom of the fourth inning as Symmes Valley walked away with the contest, 11-1, after invoking the 10-run mercy rule in the home half of the fifth inning Saturday at the Rock Hill Tournament.
Trojan sophomore pitcher Andi Queen suffered the loss, allowing 10 hits and 11 runs. However, only four of the runs were earned. Portsmouth’s defense was a major culprit in the outcome, committing eight errors in 4 2/3 innings of play.
“The first error just led to another and then another,” Trojans manager Kristen Bradshaw said. “They’re a good hitting team, they’re a good team period. But we’ve just got to learn (after an error) to start fresh, start over. We can’t be afraid to make another error.
“I think Andi (Queen) threw a good enough game to win, we obviously only got one run, but I just think our defense was a little slow, a little relaxed today.”
The lone bright spot for Portsmouth came in the second inning. Trailing 1-0, Trojan junior Semajah Parker briefly tied the game with a leadoff home run to straightaway center field.
“First at bat of the season,” Bradshaw said. “I told her, ‘The pitcher’s going to throw you strikes.’ She doesn’t have to swing hard with her powerful swing, if she hits it, it’s going to go. She was relaxed up there and it was a bomb.
“She did everything right. It was her pitch and like I told her rounding third, ‘It’s a good way to start your junior season.’”
Despite Parker’s long ball, the Trojans only managed to collect three hits during the game and only one extra-base hit after the homer — a double by Bailey Horsley in the fourth inning.
“The scrimmages, we didn’t put the ball in play enough. Today, we put the ball in play better. We hit some hard balls,” Bradshaw said. “I just think we need to swing earlier in the at bat. They watch too many strikes go by then before you know it, they’ve got two strikes on them. The first two pitches, one of the two, are probably going to be the best we see. That’s just something we have to work on mentally.
“It also takes someone getting it started. One, then two people in a row, it’s contagious.”
Portsmouth 010 00 — 1 3 8
Symmes Valley 101 81 — 11 10 2
Portsmouth — Bradley 1-3, Horsley 1-2 (2B), Parker 1-2 (HR, RBI, R).
Symmes Valley — Brown 0-3 (BB, RBI, R), Webb 2-4 (3B, 3R), Payne 2-4 (2RBI, 2R), Hatfield 2-4 (RBI, R), Ross 0-2 (RBI), Carpenter 1-3 (R), Kingery 1-3 (R), Saunders 2-3 (R), Mays 0-2 (BB, R).
W — Payne (1-0) 5IP, R, ER, 3H, 11K, 0BB
L — Queen (0-1) 4 2/3IP, 11R, 4ER, 10H, 2BB
Records — Portsmouth 0-1; Symmes Valley 1-0.
Reach Chris Slone at 740-353-3101, ext 1930, or on Twitter @crslone.