TCL SOFTBALL Columbiana struggles to win over E. Palestine

The unbeaten Clippers had to hold off East Palestine for their 10th win.
EAST PALESTINE -- Despite making more errors than getting hits, the Columbiana High girls softball team remains unbeaten after edging East Palestine, 3-2, on Thursday.
"We weren't focused. That's for sure," Clippers coach Bonnie Wilkinson said. "I knew it on the bus and I knew it warming up. Fortunately, we won.
"They're making me nervous," Wilkinson said. "I give us credit though. We did enough to win."
The Clippers (10-0, 5-0 Tri-County League) scored all of their runs in the third inning when they parlayed three hits and a Bulldogs error into a 3-0 lead.
"If we would have won, things might have been a little easier," East Palestine coach Dan McKinstry said after his team fell to 3-4, 2-2. "They would have had a [league] loss and we would have had one. Now we know we can't lose any more [to remain in contention]."
Third inning rally
Kayla Seybert singled and scored the Clippers' first run on Whitney Goist's single.
Goist scored on a sacrifice fly by Jeni Fast. Bulldogs' Ashley Ehrenberg, who had three hits, saved further damage by making the catch on the Fast flyout. It was one of three fine defensive plays Ehrenberg made.
An RBI by Jenn Yokely and two key Columbiana miscues helped East Palestine reduce the Clippers' lead to 3-2 in the fifth inning.
With one out in the seventh inning, Ehrenberg doubled with Jennie Allison on first.
Pitches out of trouble
Clippers pitcher Kristina Davidson hung tough, fanning the next batter and getting the final Bulldogs batter to ground to third.
"I played summer league with some of these kids," Davidson said, "so I knew they had some quality hitters and I knew what to expect. This was a big win for us."
Davidson (6-0) won for the third time this week as the Clippers and Bulldogs were playing their fourth game in as many days.
"We just can't seem to get over the hump," McKinstry said.
"We played United tough yesterday and we're doing some decent things but like today, it was one bad inning. Then we're in a hole and when you've got two good teams you can't have that."
The defeat took some sunshine away from losing pitcher Cheslea Peterson, who deserved a better fate. Peterson fanned 10 and retired the Clippers 1-2-3 four times.

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