TRAVERSE CITY — Within moments after Tuesday's Division 4 softball quarterfinal, Central Lake softball coach Ralph Hines was second-guessing himself.
Not only did Hines wonder if he should have substituted a pinch-runner after Allie Hines' two-out single in the fourth inning, but also if he should have sent her home from second following Morgan Scott's single two batters later.
Hines ended up stranded on third — the Trojans left the bases loaded — and Rogers City went on to win 4-1 at Traverse City West.
"I think we should've scored a run," Hines said of the fourth inning. "Probably after Allie got a single, I should've put a pinch runner in. I played it a little bit safe. I think if I wouldn't have played it safe that probably would've changed the whole game...I should've put a pinch runner in right there or else I should've sent (Allie) when she came around third on a single. My fault. I don't know where the bigger mistake was. It sure wasn't the kids."
The Trojans (26-7) were trailing 2-1 when they set themselves up for potentially their biggest inning. It started with Hines' single, which was followed by two more singles from Haley Bearden and Scott. The Hurons got out of the inning unscathed thanks to a diving grab of a pop-up by catcher Sarah Meredith near the plate for the third out.
Rogers City went on to score two more times in the fifth inning, while Central Lake stranded two runners each in the fifth and seventh innings.
"Obviously, it would've been nice if we would've got one more hit in those innings," said Hines. "They played well. You had to hit the ball where they weren't."