South Callaway has been playing the good teams tough this season and that trend continued Friday.
The Lady Bulldogs hosted Class 3 No. 6-ranked Fatima, almost equaling the Lady Comets in hits but surpassing them in strikeouts as Fatima's Taylor Baumhoer fanned 16 batters in South Callaway's 5-1 loss.
The Lady Bulldogs (8-10) have faced a strikeout pitcher before in Fayette's Jordyn Ball, who struck out 17 batters in that Sept. 27 game, but South Callaway was able to string together some doubles to fall short 8-4.
Freshman McKenzie Laughlin was coming off a five-hit pitching performance for South Callaway in its win 3-0 Thursday win against Jamestown, but she allowed a run in the first off a home run. She was in danger of allowing more after an error loaded the bases before pitching out of the jam.
South Callaway's offense had runners on second in the first, third and fifth innings that were stranded thanks to some clutch Baumhoer strikeouts.
Fatima (19-6) scored a couple more runs by the bottom of the sixth inning and hold a 3-0 lead. South Callaway advanced its fourth runner to second in the frame and then were able to bring them home after Fatima committed an error.
The Lady Comets gave themselves more insurance on a two-run home run to make it 5-1 in the seventh inning. Like before, South Callaway crafted a first-and-second situation but with Baumhoer's help. Senior Hailee Potter reached base on a dropped third strike while freshman Reagan Arrowood took a walk. Baumhoer, though, netted one last strikeout for the second out before a lineout left the runners stranded.
Potter and Arrowood each had two hits as the Lady Bulldogs finished with a collective seven hits — one short of Fatima's eight. Laughlin allowed eight hits and four earned runs in seven innings while Baumhoer allowed an unearned run and one walk.
South Callaway has one more game Monday before districts on Tuesday as the Lady Bulldogs will host Van-Far (9-11) at 5 p.m.