Fergus’ five-run fifth inning brings down Park

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By Thomas E. Watson
Enterprise Staff Writer


The Park High softball team played its first home game of the season on Monday, welcoming the Fergus Golden Eagles to Livingston, and a five-run fifth inning was the difference in the Rangers’ 12-6 loss to Fergus.

Park, now 1-2 to start the season, had an early 3-2 lead, but defensive miscues allowed the Golden Eagles to run away with the game.

Errors and two big home runs off the bat of Fergus’ Dani Gapay led to each of the Golden Eagles’ first seven runs.

Gapay got the scoring started in the top of the first inning when she blasted a two-out, two-run homer. 

Park had a chance to tie the game in the bottom of the inning. Meghan Gibson started the inning with a perfect bunt single. Skye Ingram singled to give the Rangers two on with only one out, but they couldn’t push any runs across.

Gapay’s two-run homer accounted for the only runs until Gibson led off the third inning with another single. Gibson accounted for three of the team’s first five hits in the game.

Ellie Nelson gave the Rangers back-to-back singles. With two on and none out, Gibson’s speed — or the threat thereof — forced Fergus’ catcher to throw behind Gibson and into the outfield, which allowed both Gibson and Nelson to come around and score two runs on one Fergus error.

Sierra Higgs gave Park the lead later in the inning after she reached base with a single and came around to score on a passed ball.

Higgs’ run gave Park a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the third inning that lasted until the top of the fifth, when a two-out error changed the complexion of the game.

A groundout followed by a hit batter and another groundout left one runner on base and two outs. A walk to the next batter left two on and two out. With a chance to escape the inning with the lead intact, an error on the next play allowed Fergus to tie the game at three.

Still with two on and two outs, and now a 3-3 tie, Fergus’ Karlie Southworth had an RBI-single to give the Golden Eagles the lead. Gapay followed that with a three-run home run on the next at-bat, giving Fergus a commanding 7-3 lead.

Up 7-3 in the sixth inning, Fergus batters forced back-to-back walks to start the inning. Both runners eventually came around to score on Mikayla Comes’ two-out, two-run double.

Park’s big hit came off the bat of Higgs, who hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the seventh inning to cut into the Rangers’ deficit.

Higgs’ had two hits and two RBIs on the game, and Gibson had a perfect 4-for-4 day at the plate. Nelson, Ingram and Carson Ooley had the team’s three other hits in the game.

The Rangers will play again Friday in Belgrade before returning home to host Browning on Saturday for a double-header that begins at 1 p.m.