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ST. PETERSBURG - The bus carrying Academy of the Holy Names to its district matchup with rival St. Petersburg Catholic broke down as it neared the field.
Unfortunately for Academy, the bus' failure to start was a harbinger of things to come.
Academy had runners in scoring position in five of seven innings and stranded nine runners total in a 2-0 loss to SPC. Barons starter Deanna Henriott (14-2) struggled at times with her control, but gave up just four hits and struck out 14.
"We probably did about as good a job as you can do against a pitcher like her," Academy coach Al Peacock said. "We had a lot of people on base, but we didn't execute like we needed to. When you face a pitcher like her, you've got to take advantage of the chances you get."
One of Henriott's two losses this season came in a 1-0 loss to Academy on March9, despite the junior hurler allowing just two hits and striking out 19. Henriott wasn't quite as effective Monday, but was good enough.
"That wasn't one of my best games," Henriott said. "I walked a lot of batters which I never do. I got behind in the count a lot and had to throw a lot of pitches."
"She did well enough to keep us in the game," SPC coach Tommy Fabian said. "That's all that matters."
Henriott helped herself out in the fifth inning when she doubled, bringing Amanda Kolonick home from second base. That double gave the Barons (15-3-1) a 2-0 lead. SPC broke open a scoreless tie in the fourth when, with the bases loaded, McKenna Hoof scored on a fielder's choice.
The best scoring chance for Academy (15-3) came in the third inning when Henriott sandwiched three walks between two strikeouts. Academy's Kristina Cruz, though, struck out - Henriott's eighth strikeout out of nine batters - to end the threat.
"She tends to throw good pitches when she falls behind," Fabian said.
Bethany Wagner (5-3) went the distance for Academy. She gave up four hits and four walks while striking out two.