Times Sports Editor
CLAY CITY -- The pitching was nearly overwhelming between Clay City and Sullivan's softball teams on Thursday evening.
Clay City pitcher Tasha Collenbaugh and Arrows' hurler Rachel Whitlock combined for 29 strikeouts and allowed just eight hits over 14 innings.
However, the Eels managed to scrape together a run in the first inning on an infield single by Shaya Stevenson, who came around to score on an error on a misplayed flyball by Shelby Targett.
The first run seemed like it may be enough to standup as Collenbaugh set the Arrows down without a hit, striking out seven batters over the first three innings. But Sullivan just needed one solid swing of the bat to knot the score when Alisha Lowery drove a pitch over the leftfield wall to tie the score in the fourth inning.
Whitlock proved nearly as crafty as the Eels' pitcher after allowing the first inning run.
She struck out the side in the second and fourth innings and allowed just a walk in the second and a single in the third inning to the Eels.
"I think we need to work on being ready for first pitch strikes," assistant coach Loni Rhodes said afterwards. "Dominant pitchers throw strikes to get ahead in the count."
The Eels finally were able to get to Whitlock in the sixth inning when Collenbaugh drew a leadoff walk and Targett blasted a run scoring triple to rightfield to give the Eels a lead at 2-1.
The rally continued as Abby Reed bunted for an infield single and Sloan Miller came through by drilling an RBI single to left to bring in Targett. Clay City added some extra insurance when pinch-hitter, Madison Sullivan stepped in and ripped a two-run double to push the lead to 5-1.
"Right now we've got some girls that are better defensively than offensively," Rhodes said. "But we've got some young freshmen and we're working on finding that balance. Everyone has a role for us and Madison came through with a big hit."
Collenbaugh made sure the lead stuck by sitting down the Arrows in order via strikeout in the seventh inning to complete a 16-strikeout performance while allowing just two hits.
Clay City improves to 5-2 overall and host Shakamak this evening at 5 p.m.
At Clay City
3B -- CC (Targett).
|Collenbaugh (W, 3-0)||7.0||1||2||2||16|