Steve Cassady was concerned he was leaving his pitcher out to dry.
But the Merced College softball coach didn't see a lot of choice in the matter.
With his other two hurlers logging a high number of pitches in the COS Stars-N-Stripes opener and the She-Devils scheduled to play four more games over the weekend, Cassady made the call to let Kristen Kronberg try finishing what she started.
It didn't go as he'd hoped.
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Shasta College rallied for three runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to pull out a 6-5 victory on Friday night.
The defeat wrapped up a disappointing day for MC, as the She-Devils already had lost 7-2 to Gavilan in an afternoon game.
Given the circumstances, the second one really hurt.
"I thought Snake (Kronberg) pitched an excellent game," Cassady said. "It's kind of a lot to ask your pitcher to give you a complete game at this time of year.
"Our rotation is backlogged a little bit because of inconsistent performances, so I kept her in there."
Cassady's hand was forced when Deborah McCollom couldn't get out of the fifth inning in a 7-2 loss to Galivan earlier in the day.
Sooner than he would have liked, Samantha Pressler was called upon to close out that game.
Despite earning a complete-game victory the day before, Kronberg insisted fatigue wasn't a factor.
"I wasn't tired, I just left some balls where I shouldn't," Kronberg said. "You know your going to throw a lot of innings, especially right now.
"You just have to fight through it."
MC offered up plenty of fight against Shasta, but couldn't capitalize on a number of early chances.
The She-Devils left at least one runner on in each of the first six innings and 11 total.
Despite outhitting Shasta, MC went just 2 for 14 with runners in scoring position.
"The offense did a good job today," Kronberg said. "We had more hits than Shasta. Their hits were just a little timelier."
The She-Devils took a 4-3 lead in the fifth on Mallory Bair's run-scoring single.
Center fielder Nicole Blades-Moore gave MC an insurance run with a one-out, run-scoring triple in the sixth.
It was the freshman's third triple in the last two days and fourth extra-base hit in her last four games.
But continuing the theme of the night, MC left Blades-Moore stranded at third.
Kronberg had little trouble with Shasta in the sixth, but the seventh inning was her fourth time through the Knights' order.
"Shasta's a good team," Cassady said. "You give any team a chance to see a pitcher four times and they'll probably figure it out.
"You need a lot of things to go your way in a situation like that."
With two runners on and one out, Shasta's Amanda Schuler sent a line drive to the left field wall, tying the game.
Kronberg almost worked herself out of the jam -- getting a flyout to right for the second out -- but Michael Eustance singled home the winning run.
"That was a softball game," Cassady said. "I told them if we play that way all year we'll be in a lot of games."