The Maclay varsity softball team, plagued by their own errors, suffered a dramatic loss to the Leon Lions on Thursday, April 21. The smackdown took place at Maclay and commenced at 4:30 p.m. The Lady Marauders also celebrated the team’s only senior, Lilly Phipps. Though, the senior night excitement wasn’t enough for the Marauders to escape the Lions’ den, as the Marauders fell in four innings with a final score of 12-0.

The Lady Marauders were led by head coach Mo Smith. Coming off a highly competitive game against Munroe on Tuesday, Smith had high expectations for the team. However, he was highly disappointed in Thursday’s outcome.

“As a team, we put a lot of balls in play, but we really didn’t square up many or hit solid,” Smith said. “We need to work on timing and just more aggressive swings.”

Phipps agrees that the team’s lack of communication led to their downfall and numerous errors. The team batted well but got unlucky and couldn’t stop the plays made by the roaring Lions defense. 

“We were not able to get any runs on the board,” Phipps said. “We need to work on moving what we learn and do correctly at practice and applying it to how we play during games.”

Additionally, junior pitcher Victoria Gainey noted that the Marauders hit the ball better than in previous games, but the Lions were able to get to the balls to generate outs.

“Our defense struggled a little bit but we still made good plays,” Gainey said. “Our offense went well having some good hits, we definitely need to work on our routine outs in the field.”

Despite the loss, Phipps, a multi-sport athlete throughout her high school career, will always be remembered in the Marauder softball community. Phipps has been playing the sport since middle school, and though it has resulted in facing a lot of ups and downs, she continued to thrive as a player.

“Lilly Phipps is a phenomenal athlete and I am honored to coach her,” Smith said. “She encourages her teammates and leads by example. She has helped set a standard that I hope we can continue to build on here at Maclay.”

Gainey and Phipps, both leaders of the team, have developed a close bond and undeniable chemistry within the team. Gainey sees Phipps as an excellent asset to the team both on and off the field.

“[Phipps] pushes everyone to be their best and do their best,” Gainey said. “Playing with Lilly over the years has been so much fun and I will miss her so much next year.”

With the loss on Thursday, the Lady Marauders’ overall record is 4-6. Next up, Maclay will face Wakulla Christian School on Friday, April 21 at Maclay at 4:30 p.m.