By Chuck Ballaro, Sun Correspondent
PORT CHARLOTTE – Maybe Port Charlotte’s softball team needs to play more district opponents since its non-district schedule has been a house of horrors for them all season.
While the Pirates are a respectable 6-5 in District 6A-11 play, including some strong losing efforts against teams like North Fort Myers and Mariner, they have yet to notch a victory in non-district games in seven tries.
The latest disappointment came Wednesday against Palmetto, which slugged the ball early and often to notch an 11-1 victory that ended after five innings on the mercy rule.
It was the Pirates fourth straight defeat, and with the remainder of its schedule coming against teams that already own a victory against them this season, wins could be hard to come by the rest of the way.
Kyria Holcomb was 3-for-4 with three runs batted in and two runs scored. Ashley Price and Taylor Davis also had three hits as Palmetto (7-8) lashed out 16 hits and took advantage of four Pirates errors.
Morgan Simpson went the distance for the Tigers, allowing just three hits while striking out five.
“We have three weeks left until districts, so we’re just working on stuff. We worked well together as a team, Morgan pitched well and we moved things around and did a really good job,” Palmetto coach Tammy Stinton said.
The Tigers jumped to a 4-0 lead, aided by four doubles from Megan Levins, Holcomb, Price and Serenity Vega off Pirates starter Ali Eugenius, who was knocked out after two innings, having surrendered eight runs.
Alexis Carpenter came in and promptly allowed three more in the third to build the lead to 11-1, but was able to get out of a bases-loaded jam with nobody out in the fourth and pitched a scoreless fifth.
The only hitting highlights for Port Charlotte (6-12) came in the first when Suzanne Holt drove in Eugenius with an RBI single. It was the first run they had scored in 19 innings.
The Pirates loaded the bases in the third, but a grounder to second ended the threat.
“They hit and we didn’t. Alexis did OK, but you still have to throw strikes. And when you don’t hit or score runs, things like that happen and we lose,” Port Charlotte coach Ryann Baker said.
PALMETTO 11, PORT CHARLOTTE 1
Palmetto 443 00 – 11 16 1
Port Charlotte 100 00 – 1 3 4
WP: Morgan Simpson LP: Ali Eugenius. Top hitters: Kyria Holcomb (PA) 3-4, 2 2B, 3 RBI, 2 runs. Taylor Davis (PA) 3-4, 3 RBI. Rec. PA 7-8, PC 6-12.