SEBRING - The Sebring softball team lost its first game of the season to visiting Clewiston by a score of 8-5 on Thursday night.
The loss dropped the Class 5A Blue Streaks to 4-1, while the win improved the Class 4A Tigers to 3-1.
After a scoreless first inning, Clewiston's Kelsey Allison reached first base on a bunt single and promptly stole second base to get in scoring position. She scored on a one-out single by Ashley Roth into shallow right-center field to give the Tigers a 1-0 lead.
Clewiston added to its lead in the top of the third. Rachel Morrell led off the inning with a double into left-center field and advanced to third on a bunt single by Kiana Hardy.
Kaci Pittman followed with a ground ball to Sebring's third baseman, Mattie Coe, who faked the throw to first, pivoted back to third base to catch Morrell off the base.
She threw the ball shortstop Kara Faircloth, who was backing up at third, to tag Morrell out.
With runners on first and second and one out, Clewiston attempted a double steal. The Sebring catcher overthrew the third baseman to allow Hardy to score and Pittman to advance to third. Pittman scored as Allison drilled an RBI triple.
Allison raced home on a passed ball to put the Tigers on top by a score of 4-0.
Sebring closed the gap to 4-1 in the bottom of the third when Kiana Antone reached base on a two-out single to center field and scored on an error on a ground ball by Alison Hoffner.
The top of Clewiston's lineup went to work in the fourth inning as Morrell and Pittman singled. Allison walked to load the base with two outs. Savannah Ridgdill singled to drive in Morrell and Pittman, Allison also scored on the same play on a throwing error by the catcher as Clewiston built a 7-1 lead.
Sebring put together a two-out rally in the fifth to cut the Tiger lead to 7-3.
With two outs, Hoffner singled into center field and Morgan Andrews singled past the third baseman into left field. That was followed by a double by Coe down the left-field line to drive in both Hoffner and Andrews.
Clewiston responded with an insurance run in the top of the sixth to make the score 8-3.
Sebring was poised for a big inning in the bottom of the sixth as Brooke Sanders led off with a single. After a stolen base, she scored on a passed ball to make the score 8-4.
With one out, Faircloth reached on a ground ball that was bobbled by the shortstop. Back-to-back walks to Amber Hicks and Antone loaded the bases. Hoffner singled to into left field to bring Faircloth across the plate and leave the base loaded.
The Blue Streaks were unable to inflict any further damage as a strikeout and a soft liner to the shortstop ended the Sebring threat with Clewiston holding on to an 8-5 lead.
Both teams went down quietly in the seventh inning as the Tigers held on to the 8-5 win and the Blue Streaks suffered their first loss of the season.
Though Clewiston won, they suffered an injury to their catcher, Pittman, who rolled her ankle when she scored in the fourth inning.
The Tigers have been hit by the injury bug and are getting low on players as the girl who replaced Pittman will have season-ending surgery on her finger next week, which could possibly leave them with just 10 players.
Sebring is back on the diamond Tuesday with a road game at Clewiston and the Blue Streaks host county rival Lake Placid Thursday.