For the Brazil Times
LINTON -- Samantha Butt crossed the plate with one out in the bottom of the seventh inning to give the Linton-Stockton softball team a 1-0 victory over visiting Clay City here Tuesday evening. The win counted in both the Tri-River and Southwestern Indiana Athletic Conference.
With the win, the Miners improved to 5-4 (4-0 SWIAC, 2-1 TRC), while the Lady Eels fell to (1-1 SWIAC, 1-2 TRC).
"This was another awesome win tonight," Linton-Stockton head coach Jill Flater said. "We had another night of zero errors in the field, the defense was just outstanding for a second night in a row."
Butt led off the home half of the seventh inning with a bunt single. Even more impressive was she got the bunt down with two strikes on her. After Clay City hurler Shelby Targett registered her ninth strikeout of the game, Stephanie Fougerousse lined a double just out of the outstretched glove of leftfielder Makayla Riggs. The speedy Butt crossed the plate for the winning run without a play for the win.
"Sammi had a nice leadoff to make things happen for us," Flater said. "And Steph was able to move her around. It was just perfect timing."
Fougerousse, always dangerous at the plate, had been 0-for-2 against Targett in her previous two at bats. Clay City head coach Roger Rhodes had mentioned walking Fougerousse, but pitching coach and daughter, Loni Rhodes decided to pitch to the WRV transfer instead of putting the potential winning run in scoring position.
"Hindsight is 20/20, but we probably should not have pitched to her," the elder Rhodes said of pitching to Fougerousse. "She is a tough player. We were fortunate enough to get her out the first two times, but she came through when it mattered the most."
Head coach Rhodes mentioned lack of run production has hindered his squad all season.
"The bottom line is you have to score runs," he said. "We just are not hitting the ball. But we are a young team and start five freshmen. We just try to get better each game."
The Lady Eels could only muster three hits off of Fougerousse, who picked up her third win on the season. Shaya Stevenson registered two of the hits and Madison Sullivan recorded the third, all of which were singles.
Targett matched Fougerousse pitch for pitch till the seventh inning. She fanned nine batters in her six and one-third inning of work and scattered four hits.
"Shelby is going to keep us in the ballgame," Rhodes said. "But we have to score runs. We score more runs and we win ballgames.."
Hali Murray led off the home half of the third inning off for the Lady Miners with a triple that painted the rightfield line, for the Miners first hit of the game. Linton-Stockton could not cash in, as Murray was gunned down at the plate as she tried to score on a wild pitch. Janae Jackson would later reach with a bunt single.
Those would be the only runners to reach base, aside from Fougerousse reaching on an error in the fourth inning, until the dramatics of the seventh inning.
Clay City (7-6 overall) hosts Owen Valley on Thursday evening at 4:30 p.m.
Targett and A. Miller; Fougerousse and Murray. W -- Fougerousse (3-1). L -- Targett. 2B -- Fougerousse (LS). 3B -- Murray (LS).