After staying close to visiting Meade County through five innings, the Cougar softball team gave up three runs in the sixth inning and dropped a 6-3 decision to the Lady Waves.
Lauren Decker started in the circle for the Cougars and pitched well for four innings, allowing just two runs on seven hits, walking no one. Kara Decker relieved in the fifth and gave up a single run in the fifth and three more in the sixth. She walked no one and struck out one.
Abby Whelan started for the Lady Waves and earned the win, allowing three runs, all of them earned, on eight hits. She struck out eight and walked one. She had a pair of hits at the plate and scored twice.
The Waves scored once in the second inning to grab the early lead against Lauren Decker. With one out, right-fielder Kaylee Mathias singled to right and moved to second on a strike-out and throw-out by Brooke Spears. Catcher Christy Davis then singled to drive in Mathias to make it 1-0.
The Cougars responded with a run of their own to tie the game 1-1 in the bottom of the second. Third-baseman Embry Thorpe doubled to the wall in right-center leading off the inning, and moved to third on a wild pitch.
Whelan retired Bailey Sedam and Nikki Golden, but senior designated player, Abbie Harpe picked on a 2-2 pitch from Whelan and drove a liner to right to plate Thorpe to knot the game at 1-1.
The Waves went in front to stay with a single run in the fourth inning. Lauren Claycomb singled leading off the inning. With one out, Spears singled to left, putting runners at first and second.
Davis hit a come-backer to Lauren Decker, who got the force at third on Claycomb for the second out of the inning. But Olivia Honaker singled up the middle to bring in Spears to make it 2-1. Decker then got Katie Wilson to ground out to end the inning.
Kara Decker came on in relief in the fifth inning and was hurt by a questionable call by the infield umpire. Whelan doubled leading off the inning. Elizabeth Youart followed by hitting a ball back to Decker in the circle. Decker fielded the ball and threw to Thorpe at third, but the umpire called Whelan safe, though it appeared the tag had been applied in plenty of time.
Second-baseman Lauren Sutton grounded out to second for the first out, but Whelan came in to score to make it 3-1. Decker was able to get out of the inning without further damage.
The Waves seemingly put the game on ice with three runs in the sixth inning. Spears led off by hitting an 0-1 pitch over the fence in left field for a home run that made it 4-1.
With two outs, singles by Wilson, Whelan and Youart plated two more runs to make it 6-1.
The Cougars tried to mount a comeback in the sixth and made it closer with a pair of runs after two were out. Thorpe singled up the middle and scored all the way from first on a triple to the fence in center field by Allie Horton.
Golden followed with a double to center to plate Horton that made it 6-3. An error on a grounder at third base by Harpe put runners at the corners, bringing up pinch hitter Kenzie Renfrow. The eighth-grader ripped a sizzling liner back through the middle, but Whelan was able to glove it just above the dirt for the final out, saving at least one run.
The Cougars came to bat in the seventh needing three runs to send the game into extra innings, but could not produce any magic. Bailey Snyder walked with two outs, but Kara Decker grounded out to end the game.
The Cougars fell to 8-10 on the season with the loss, while the Lady Waves improved to 11-12.
Reach Don Brown at 259-9622, ext. 2016.