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Bears split, spoil Lion’s attempt to share title

The Summerville Bears suffered a 5-2 loss in first game of a Wednesday afternoon doubleheader against Linden before turning around with an eight-inning victory in the second to spoil the Lions’ chance at earning a share of the 2013 Mother Lode League title.

“Good for them to come back and win the last game,” said Summerville head coach Ben Watson of his Bears. “We didn’t make the playoffs, but it still has to feel good for the girls to finish on a positive note.”

In the first game, Linden ace Lauren Watanabe hurled 11 strikeouts allowing only two earned runs and six hits over seven innings. Bear pitcher Taylor Ebner went the distance as well, allowing only four earned runs and fanning two batters.

Ebner also helped herself by going 2 for 4 at the plate including driving in one of Summerville’s runs.

Watanabe hit a home run in the first inning to get the Lions off to a 1-0 start. The Bears were down 5-0 before a run in the fifth frame put them on the board for the first time.

“They hit the ball well and we were struggling,” Watson said of the first game.

The Bears turned around in the second game and defeated the Lions 7-5 to close out the 2013 season and give the Redskins — who defeated Bret Harte that same day in Angels Camp — sole ownership of the 2013 MLL title.

Summerville went down 5-1 over four frames before battling all the way back to an eight-inning victory.

“We made a couple of big errors to give them the four runs in the third inning but just kept chipping away the rest of the game,” Watson said.

The Bears muscled out solo runs in the fifth and sixth innings before tying the game 5-5 with two more in the seventh. Ebner held the Lions scoreless in the home half of the seventh to take the game into extra innings after having already pitched 14 total.

“I thought she did a good job, especially for having pitched back-to-back games,” Watson said.

In the second game, Ebner allowed only two earned runs while fanning four batters. Linden’s Watanabe allowed five earned runs and recorded five strikeouts.

Ebner also had a big game at the plate going 3 for 3 with an RBI while Bear catcher Taylor Leslie went 3 for 4. Ebner was a combined 5 for 7 and Leslie 4 for 5 in both games.

In the eighth inning, Ebner walked and advanced to second base on a sacrifice by Ashley Gamber. Leslie hit a single that moved Ebner to third before Kayla Brick bunted the baserunner home. Brick reached on a fielder’s choice and Leslie advanced to third when Linden tried to make a play at the plate.

Leslie later scored on a fly-out to put Summerville up 7-5. Ebner held Linden scoreless in the eighth to ice the victory and end the Bears season with a 6-8 MLL record.

“We were down and we just kept fighting and fighting,” Watson said. “I thought it was a nice way for the girls to end the year.”

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