Even for good pitchers, bad starts are inevitable.
No one player is immune, and Claremore's ace Alyssa Poorboy experienced that fact firsthand on Thursday morning.
The junior surrendered 10 hits in the first two innings, including a 2-run homer and a grand slam, in a 12-1 loss to Sand Springs in the Rogers State Festival at the Diamond Sports Complex in Claremore.
Poorboy also hit two batters and walked another during that time, all of which resulted in runs.
In all, Poorboy surrendered 11 hits, failing to retire a batter for the second time this season.
Claremore (5-4, 2-0 District 5A-3) returns home for a district game against Collinsville at 5 p.m. on Tuesday.
Although disappointed with the result, Lady Zebras coach Keeli Garroutte said performances like that aren't the be-all and end-all for a pitcher's season.
"It's going to happen every once in a while," Garroutte said. "Especially against good hitters. The first one was a change-up that she just left too high. I've been in the circle, and if you give it up, you know you missed your spot and have to move on.
"The second one doesn't happen if we don't look silly on a bunt and fail to field a ball at second base."
Trouble began brewing on the Lady Sandites’ second at-bat in the first inning when Aliyah Taff sent a double out to leftfield.
Poorboy seemed to respond positively, putting the three-hole hitter in a 2-2 situation, but Usher sent the sixth pitch over the wall for two runs.
Jordyn Muns, who recorded two of Claremore’s five hits, answered in the bottom half with a leadoff double before Emily Rogers drove her in with an RBI groundout, but the Lady Zebras wouldn’t score again.
Taff’s performance in the circle kept Claremore, which came into the contest having outscored opponents 38-4 in its previous two outings, in check for most of the contest.
Taff struck out two while surrendering no walks and one run on five hits.
Sand Springs (6-6, 2-0 District 6A-3) countered the Lady Zebras with seven hits in the second, highlighted by a Mackenzie Bechtold grand slam to leftfield that pushed its lead to 12-1.
Bechtold tallied an RBI single earlier in the inning as well, scoring Drew Hawkins with a shot to rightfield. She then scored the next run on a passed ball.
Bechtold finished 3-for-3 at the plate with 5 RBIs. Taff and Makenna Skaggs each notched multiple hits as well with two apiece.
Skaggs drove in a run with a single of her own shortly afterward, and two hit by pitches with an Avery Tanner RBI single in between pushed the advantage to 8-1.
Poorboy managed to find her bearings in the last two innings, though, holding the Lady Sandites to only two hits the rest of the way.
“We’ve been talking a lot with her and the rest of our defense about how we have to be perfect,” Garroutte said. “We have to take what they’re going to give us. If we don’t, that kind of thing happens, especially against a good team like that. They’re going to capitalize whenever you don’t take every out they give you — every groundball and every fly ball.
“Not getting those outs when we needed to definitely hurt us.”