Sikeston committed eight physical errors and several more of the mental variety in a six-inning run-rule defeat at the hands of the SEMO Conference rival Lady Mules.
"Their (Poplar Bluff's) bunts and slaps just killed our defense," said Sikeston coach Tiffany Glastetter. "They got their bunts down, executed very well and had us on our heels."
Added Glastetter, "We worked on our defense yesterday (Thursday) for two hours. We knew that they would come out bunting and slapping and our defense just fell apart."
In spite of extra practice time, Sikeston's defense remains a work-in-progress as players become accustomed to new positions, new teammates and, for some, a new level of competition.
With Poplar Bluff holding a 9-0 lead going into the bottom of the fifth inning, Sikeston finally dented the scoreboard with its only run.
Ali Blurton singled, moved to second on Julie Annesser's groundout, then scored on Whitney Wallace's RBI single.
Blurton performed well in a route-going effort in her first mound appearance of the young season. She allowed eight hits, struck out 10, walked three and hit a batter.
Her counterpart Kris Ploetze, aided by stellar defensive backing, held the Lady Bulldogs to just two hits with five strikeouts.
Poplar Bluff made all the routine plays and a couple spectacular ones.
"Poplar Bluff's defense was unbelievable," said Glastetter. "We hit it; they just caught it."
Sikeston (1-1) will have little time to dwell on the loss as they host Fredericktown on Monday at 4 p.m.