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PREP SOFTBALL: B-G-MR downs Sacred Heart 6-1

 Giving up an early lead can make winning a softball game a tough task, especially against a good defensive team.

East Grand Forks Sacred Heart gave up three runs in the first inning in Friday’s game against Badger-Greenbush-Middle River and the Eagles were never able to recover — falling 6-1 to the Gators, who were led by pitcher Paige Taggart’s eight strikeouts and two-run homer.

“They didn’t make any mistakes until the last inning,” said Sacred Heart coach Mike Marek. “And that’s it. Their pitching didn’t give any freebies to us. Every runner we had, we had to earn.”

The Gators jumped to their lead when Emily Anderson doubled to right field to score Aunica Novacek. Taggart then homered to right to give B-G-MR the 3-0 lead.

In the fifth inning, the Gators added three more runs.

A sacrifice fly by Taggart scored Novacek, then Taylor Becker tripled to bring in Tori Mekash. The next batter, Lyndsey Anderson, singled to score Mekash.

“We opened the door early with a few errors,” said Marek. “That just gave them a jump-start and we just never got back in the game.”

Sacred Heart had the bases loaded in the fifth with two outs but couldn’t score.

The next inning, the Eagles were able to get on the board when Hannah Modeen’s sacrifice fly scored Stacy Remer.

Marek noted that slow starts are something the Eagles, who dropped to 5-4, need to work on. 

“They got a quick start,” said Marek. “We didn’t get out of the chute. We didn’t play alert softball and they took advantage. That’s really all they needed was those first three runs.

“We have to be focused and ready to play right away. Many, many games the other team has taken the lead. We need to be in the game right away and be focused right away so they don’t get a running start on us.”