By KEVIN THOMPSON
LAKIN Night and day. Hot and cold. The Lady Broncs and the Lady Broncs.
In a world of dichotomies, some opposites are obvious, while some are just baffling at times.
For Lakin softball coach Eric Jorgensen, the latter is true. His Lady Broncs split their fourth doubleheader of the season Tuesday, falling to Stanton County 9-5 in the opener, then run-ruling the Trojans 14-4 in the nightcap in Hi-Plains League action.
Which left Jorgensen still looking for some answers.
"I'm happy that we're at least gaining a split in these games," he said. "It's nice that my team can come out and handle that adversity when it happens. We lack consistency, but when we get that down, we can be a great team."
Though the inconsistency reared its head last week when Lakin committed 18 errors in one doubleheader in high winds, in Tuesday's split, they cut that to just seven.
Offensive output in Game 2 helped offset the errors Lakin faced in the first game as the Broncs scored in all five innings, including five runs in the first. Lakin batted around that first inning, taking advantage of four walks, a passed ball and a throwing error. Kilee Hutchison's single on a 3-2 pitch with two out plated two runners to cap the inning.
Lakin chased starter Alek Nichols in the second after she gave up three straight walks. Three innings later, two walks and two singles scored two runs to give the Broncs the split.
"It seems like it takes a game to get going," Jorgensen said, though he added that he is looking for hitting combinations to make his lineup more solid and trying to cut down on mental and physical errors to help his team get going more quickly.
Game 1 was a tighter contest. Having already played the day before, the Trojans looked more in a groove than the Broncs, who hadn't played in a week. Stanton County scattered 12 hits - 11 of them singles - and capitalized on three Lakin errors to get the win.
Trailing 3-2 in the fourth, the Trojans scored on a ground out by Cheyenne Loader and a single by Gylee Martin to claim the lead. Two innings later, Lindsey Erskin hit a bases-loaded single to plate one run and Martin scored on a throwing error on the single.
Lakin closed the gap to 6-5 in their half of the sixth, scoring on an error. But the Trojans scored three more runs on just one hit aided by three Lakin errors to get the win.
"I was happy with the way the girls played," Stanton County coach Gary Kendrick said.
Putting the ball in play was a key for his club, Kendrick said, as the Trojans don't have anybody with power. Stanton County only struck out twice all night, playing to its strength.
"We can hit the ball. We don't strike out a lot. We just put the ball in play and try to make the defense make the play," Kendrick said. "That's just the way we are."
The 12 hits for Stanton County in the first game exposed Lakin's defensive letdowns.
"One thing I've been preaching is the word 'focus.' I felt like we lost our focus in the seventh inning of the first game and maybe a half inning earlier. In the second I felt like we stayed focused the whole time," he said.
Jodie Jennings pitched both games for Lakin, something she has done the past two seasons. Jorgensen likes the endurance his senior thrower shows time after time. Earlier in the day she ran in the Scott City Relays in the 3,200-meter relay, making it back in time to throw both games.
"She is one of the few pitchers in this league who can handle throwing both games, and she's just going to keep getting stronger as the season goes on," he said.
Stanton County 9, Lakin 5
Stanton Co. 101 202 3¬ -- 9 12 3
Lakin 201 011 0¬ -- 5 3 3
DeLaPena and Daniels; Jennings and Dunn. W DeLaPena; L Jennings. 2B SC, DeLaPena.
Lakin 14, Stanton County¬ 4 (5 innings)
Stanton Co. 030 01 -- 4 5 3
Lakin 522 32 -- 14 9 2
SC Nichols, DeLaPena (2) and Daniels; Lakin Jennings and Dunn. W Jennings; L Nichols. 2B SC, Loader.