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Shenandoah falls to Class 2A No. 7 Frankton

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Freshman pitcher Adyson Coppess from Class 2A No. 7 Frankton hurls the ball to the plate against a batter from host Shenandoah during Monday evening's softball game. Coppess pitched all five innings of her team's 12-2 victory over the Raiders.
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Shenandoah senior Faith Muterspaugh takes a pitch at the plate during Monday evening's softball game against visiting Class 2A No. 7 Frankton. Muterspaugh pitched two innings from the circle and hit a pair of doubles and had a RBI, but the Raiders lost to the Eagles in five innings 12-2.
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Shenandoah junior Megan Hepfer hurls the ball toward the plate against a batter from visiting Frankton during Monday evening's softball game. Hepfer started the game in the circle and pitched three innings in the Raiders' 12-2 five-inning loss to the Class 2A No. 7 Eagles.
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Shenandoah junior Kamryn Buck watches the action at home plate after blooping a hit against visiting Frankton during Monday evening's softball game. The Raiders lost to the Class 2A No. 7 Eagles 12-2 in five innings.
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Shenandoah senior catcher Emily Olsen stands on first base after singling against visiting Class 2A No. 7 Frankton during Monday evening's softball game. Olsen scored one of the Raiders' two runs, but the hosts lost to the Eagles in five innings 12-2.

By DAVID RISLEY - drisley@thecouriertimes.com

MIDDLETOWN - The Shenandoah High School softball team hosted Class 2A No. 7 Frankton Monday evening and got a look at a potential opponent in Sectional 40.

The Eagles frequently have posed problems for the Raiders over the years, and Monday was no exception. Frankton raced out to a 12-0 advantage and eventually posted a 12-2, five-inning victory over Shenandoah.

The Eagles improved to 7-1 for the season while the Raiders dipped to 3-4.

Fielding errors by Shenandoah were part of the story in this contest. Normally a good team on defense, the Raiders committed three glaring throwing errors leading to several Frankton runs, which made the final score more lopsided than it might have been otherwise.

"We made some throwing errors today that aided their (Eagles ) cause," Shenandoah Head Coach Alison Merritt said afterward. "Otherwise, the game would've been closer and we might still be playing. Those things happen, though. We won't dwell on the errors or the loss, but will move on from here and get ready for our game tomorrow and for the rest of the season."

Shenandoah junior Megan Hepfer started in the circle and the Eagles scored three times in the top of the first inning, helped by the first of those throwing errors.

Freshman leadoff hitter Adyson Coppess hit Hepfer's first pitch for a single to centerfield and went to third base on a two-base throwing error on freshman McKenzie McCorkhill's grounder as McCorkhill wound up on second on the play.

Aleyah Rastetter followed with a double to right centerfield, driving in Coppess and McCorkhill for a 2-0 advantage. Rastetter moved to third base on an Emma Smith groundout and scored on Sarah Stanley's ground ball out for a 3-0 Frankton lead.  The next batter grounded out to end the inning.

Coppess started in the circle for the Eagles and hit Raider leadoff batter Bridget Lohrey with a pitch to open the bottom of the third inning. Lohrey stole second base but didn't score, as Coppess retired the next three batters.

Frankton added to its advantage in the top of the second inning. Leadoff batter Laikyn Lowe singled on a 3-2 pitch and Brooke Campbell walked on five pitches. Coppess then laid down a bunt, but the ball sailed over first baseman Skylar Counceller's head and Lowe and Campbell came in to score on the play with Coppess winding up on second base.

The next batter popped out but Rastetter singled to centerfield to move Coppess to third base. Smith's groundout plated Coppess with Rastetter taking second. Rastetter scored on a single to right field by Stanley,

Maddie Granger singled to right centerfield moving Stanley to third base, and Stanley scored on a single by Audrey Cleek to boost the Eagles' lead to 8-0. With two on and two out, Hepfer got Lowe to fly to centerfield to end the inning.

Shenandoah's Kamryn Buck blooped a hit to short right field with one out in the last of the second and moved to second base on a sacrifice bunt by Jayla Lewis, but didn't score.

Frankton plated three more runs, all unearned, in the top of the third inning. With two away, McCorkhill grounded to an infielder, but the throw went astray for an error and McCorkhill wound up on second base.

Rastetter doubled to the left field fence driving in McCorkhill. Smith's single moved Rastetter to third base and Jaylen Lovett can in to courtesy-run for Smith. Stanley doubled to left centerfield plating Rastetter and Lovett for an 11-0 Eagle advantage. The next batter flied out to centerfield to end the inning.

Shenandoah's Emily Olsen hit a two-out single to short left field in the bottom of the third inning, but did not advance.

Faith Muterspaugh came in to pitch for the Raiders in the top of the fourth inning and retired the first hitter. Muterspaugh walked Lowe on a full-count pitch, but got the next two batters to ground out and the visitors didn't score.

"This is the first time Faith has pitched since last year's Frankton game," Merritt added, "and she held them to one run over two innings. I felt we hit the ball well against them. We just didn't string many hits together until the last inning. We didn't give up when we got way down, which is a good sign. I think we'll see them again in the sectional."

Muterspaugh doubled to the left centerfield fence to lead off the last of the fourth and got to third base on a one-out sacrifice bunt by Kamryn Buck. The next batter struck out to retire the side.

Frankton's Lovett singled to open the top of the fifth and Rastetter followed with a double to centerfield. But Lovett was tagged out at the plate trying to score on the play. The next batter lined out, but Stanley doubled to centerfield to plate Rastetter for a 12-0 Eagles lead. The next hitter grounded out to retire the side.

The Raiders didn't throw in the towel and kept battling. With one out in the bottom of the fifth inning, Hepfer singled to right field but was forced out at second base on Bridget Lohrey's fielder's choice ground ball.

With two outs, Olsen got an infield hit, and then Lohrey scored and Olsen moved to third on Meg Stanley's single to centerfield. Muterspaugh followed with a double to centerfield that drove in Olsen to trim the Frankton lead to 12-2, and Stanley held up at third base.

With both runners in scoring position and a chance to keep the game going and send it into another inning, the next batter grounded out 5-3 to end the game after 1:14 of playing time.

Shenandoah hosted Alexandria Tuesday evening.