By Pete Sisk, Sun Correspondent
CAPE CORAL — Winning ugly? Maybe.
The Charlotte Tarpons’ 11-7 victory Monday night at Ida Baker might not be the artistic highlight of the 2017 softball season.
But the beautiful thing about a less-than-pretty win is that it’s still a win. There are no style points to worry about in softball.
The Tarpons spotted Ida Baker a 4-1 lead through three innings, scored 10 unanswered to go ahead 11-4, then got past a couple of misplayed fly balls in the bottom of the seventh to take a victory back home to Punta Gorda.
“That was an ugly game,” Charlotte coach Greg Higgins said. “Our bus was very late getting here. We basically stepped out and just went to playing.”
The Bulldogs took advantage of Charlotte’s lack of warm-up time, scoring three times in the bottom of the first inning.
“It’s nothing we’re going to point fingers at,” Higgins said. “We’ve beaten the good teams. We just need to, these other teams that aren’t as good as the ones we’ve beaten, we need to be a little more focused. The girls know that. They definitely know that.”
Higgins said starting pitcher Julie Dedrick, who had been ill for days, thought she could only make it through a couple of innings. She worked four innings instead, just long enough for the Tarpons to pull ahead and make her the winning pitcher. Haley Cabral took it from there.
At the plate, Alyssa Opsahl had three hits, including a triple, with three RBI and two runs scored. Marissa Stack also was 3-for-4 with a triple. Taylor Kirkus and Tiffany Dodson also tripled for the Tarpons.
Down 11-4, Ida Baker managed to score three times with two outs in the bottom of the seventh, in large part to a couple of mistakes in the outfield.
“We put a little girl in there at the end of the game that doesn’t play, and it never fails,” Higgins said. “You put somebody out there and they’re going to find them.”
The Tarpons take the win and move on to tonight’s matchup against Lemon Bay. Then there’s Riverdale on Thursday before district play begins March 7 at Fort Myers.
“This year with the season starting so late, we haven’t played any district games,” Higgins said. “This gives us a chance to get the bugs worked out before the district starts.
“Because our district, there are no weak sisters in our district.”
CHARLOTTE 11, IDA BAKER 7
Charlotte 0 1 0 5 2 3 0 – 11 11 2
Ida Baker 3 0 1 0 0 0 3 – 7 5 2
WP: Julie Dedrick. LP: Elaina Im. Top hitters: Alyssa Opsahl (Char) 3-4, 3B, 3 RBI, 2 runs, Marissa Stack (Char) 3-4, 3B, run; Andrea Walker (IB) 1-3, 3B, 2 runs. Records: Charlotte 5-1, Ida Baker 2-4.