- Clay City rally falls short in softball loss to rival Northview -
CLAY CITY -- Northview continued to keep their softball fans on the edge of their seats this season, earning a 13-10 win over county rival Clay City on Tuesday evening.
Northview pounded out 16 hits in the game, but it took a splendid play in the field to cement the final out and the win for the Knights.
The Knight's bats were the early story however.
Though the temperatures were frigid outside, the Knight's bats continued to be red hot.
Northview pounded out five first inning hits and used an error and an obstruction call to jump out to a 5-0 lead in their half of the opening frame.
"I can't be upset at all with our bats tonight," said Northview head coach Jason Wise. "But I think we tend to get up in the early part of the game and lose focus. We've got to be able to finish off teams."
The Eels would scramble back for a run in the bottom part of the inning as a Chelsee Gerber walk became the Eel's first run when Keri Bettenbrock singled her home.
The Knights would continue to hound Clay City starting pitcher Cameron Gerber when Jennifer Gregg reached base for the second time on a single. She would score on Chandra Burns RBI double in two innings.
Kayla Harlan reached on a catcher's interference call and Brittnee Yocom followed with a bunt single. Casey Challandes singled to score another run and Elise Sterrett singled home another run for Northview who led 9-1 after an inning and a half.
Northview would nearly end the game early via the 10-run rule, adding two more runs on a two RBI double by Burns to go ahead 11-2 after three innings.
The Knights threatened to finish off the game against Clay City reliever Loni Rhodes in the fourth inning.
Kayla Glassburn smacked a one-out double, but Rhodes buckled down to strikeout Gregg and Natalie Shoemaker.
Rhodes would lead off the bottom half of the fifth inning and get Clay City started with a single to centerfield followed by a Bettenbrock single. Angela Ewer's one-out walk would load the bases for Amber Long who picked up an RBI groundout.
With two outs, a wildpitch would score Bettenbrock before a walks to Kylee Knox and Kendra Roe would end Stephanie Jonson's night on the mound for the Knights.
Cayla Shrader entered the contest and allowed a run scoring walk to Cameron Gerber and a wildpitch that scored Knox but got Chelsee Gerber to groundout ending the inning.
"I feel real comfortable with Cayla (Shrader) coming into games to finish them in relief," said Wise. "She did a great job getting out of a couple of jams."
The Eels got back within 11-7 with their four run inning but the Knights bounced right back with a pair of runs to widen the lead to 13-7.
They would need every run.
Clay City came to bat for the final time trailing by six runs, but Knox drew a leadoff walk followed by a Roe single, her third hit of the night. Cameron Gerber would ground into a fielder's choice and Roe was forced out at second base for the first out of the inning.
However, Chelsee Gerber followed with a walk, her third time on base, and Rhodes delivered the big blow, a double that scored Knox and Cameron Gerber and pulled the Eels within 13-9 with one out.
Bettenbrock was then intentionally walked by Shrader to load the bases.
Shrader then got Kasi Thatcher to foul out to the first base side for the second out before Ewer came to the plate.
She nearly came up with the big hit for the second night in a row, following the Shakamak contest on Monday.
Ewer singled into centerfield for the Eels as Chelsee Gerber scored, but Burns gathered in the ball, relayed the ball to Shoemaker in the infield who fired a perfect strike home to catcher Kayla Harlan who blocked the plate perfectly to get Rhodes for the final out of the game.
"That was a great play," said Wise after the game. "It was a really clutch throw from Chandra (Burns) and Natalie (Shoemaker)."
The Knights will continue their busy week with a game tomorrow night versus Shakamak at home beginning at 5 p.m. The Eels will visit Sullivan for a doubleheader on Thursday night beginning at 4:30 p.m. in the City Park.
Northview 13, Clay City 10
At Clay City
WP -- Jonson. LP -- Rhodes. S -- Shrader.
3B -- Roe. 2B -- Burns 2, Glassburn, Rhodes.
Northview (3-2 overall, 1-1 WIC) faces Shakamak Thursday night while Clay City (2-1 overall) visits Sullivan on Thursday.