Butler struck out six on the day, but also gave up seven walks in seven innings. The Wildcats got on the board first as Sammy Cunningham-Darrah made it home on a single by Savannah Nesbitt. The Rebels put two on the board in the second, but the ‘Cats scored Nesbitt and fellow senior Hannah Swanson in the third. After five innings, the Wildcats were in command of the game 6-4, following a big two-RBI double from Butler, but in the sixth inning the lead unraveled, and with it the game.
The Wildcats came out in the seventh ready to swing, loading the bases for Cunningham-Darrah. The senior catcher knocked a huge fly to center, which in any fenced-in field would have been a grand slam and a one-run deficit for the Wildcats. But Leland & Gray’s centerfielder made the catch, and left the Wildcats with an 11-6 loss.
The Wildcats play host to Green Mountain at 4 pm on Friday, and are currently the 10-seed of the Division IV standings, with the playoffs beginning in less than a week. Manager Aaron Wood said his team could end up the eighth seed, but come playoffs, will need to improve their all-around play.
“We talked about it, and we are one of the best three or four teams in Division IV, there’s no question,” said Wood. “Our bats are coming around, but we have to field better, and throw consistently. If we do those two things we’ll be hard to beat.”
Butler led the Wildcats from the plate with a 3 for 4 day, hitting two doubles and driving in three runs. Nesbitt went 2 for 3 with two RBIs.