By Chuck Ballaro, Sun Correspondent
PORT CHARLOTTE — Andrea Walker drove in three runs and Ida Baker’s softball team blew the game open with a three-run sixth inning to beat Port Charlotte 7-3 Tuesday in the District 6A-11 opener for both teams at a very busy Pirates Cove.
The anemic Pirates offense got off to a good start, but was again unable to keep up the momentum as they remain winless (0-4, 0-1) on the season. The Bulldogs, after two losses in a home-and-home series against Lemon Bay, won for the first time (1-2, 1-0).
“All aspects of the game came together. We had a few defensive miscues, but were able to overcome them with our defense,” Baker coach Brooke Pascquale said. “Getting key hits proved to be the difference.”
The Bulldogs scored two in the first, taking advantage of an error to put a runner in scoring position. Walker and Eliza Cross each grounded out, but plated runners for a 2-0 lead.
Port Charlotte responded in the bottom of the inning as the Bulldogs turned a fly ball off the bat of freshman pitcher Ali Eugenius to right into two runs to tie the game.
Bulldogs pitcher Delicia Bent settled in after that. Bent got out of a two-out jam in the second, and gave up her only other run on an RBI double to Eugenius in the fifth that cut the lead to 4-3. She also helped herself at the plate, going 2-for-4 and scoring twice.
But the Bulldogs, who took the lead in the fourth on a Tiffany Wilenius RBI single and a Hannah Boroff sacrifice fly, blew open the game in the sixth.
Bent helped her own cause with an RBI single, while Walker came up with the big blow, a two-run single that set the final score.
Port Charlotte coach Ryann Baker said it’s high time the offense shows up for the entire game.
“For some reason we think that one inning and we’ve done our job. Little do they know there are seven innings in a game,” Baker said. “Unless we decide we’re going to start playing seven, we’re going to keep having the same outcome.”
IDA BAKER 7, PORT CHARLOTTE 3
Ida Baker 200 203 0 — 7 9 2
Port Charlotte 200 010 0 — 3 7 2
WP: Delicia Bent (1-2); LP: Ali Eugenius (0-1); Leading hitters: (IB) Delicia Bent 2-4, RBI, 2 runs; Andrea Walker 1-3, 3 RBI; (PC) Brittany Ferrentino 2-4, 2 runs. Records: IB 1-2, 1-0; PC 0-4, 0-1.