Times Sports Editor
CLAY CITY -- There is very little room for error in a high school softball game between a pair of talented teams.
On Tuesday night that was made abundantly clear as Northview was able to capitalize on an inning's worth of defensive miscues by Clay City to blow open a pitchers' duel and win 10-1 over the Eels.
The game was scoreless through the first three innings as Clay City senior hurler Shelby Targett, escaped a first inning jam thanks to Shaya Stevenson throwing out the Knights' Hope Torbert at home for the inning's final out. Torbert reached on a single to left, moved to second on a wild pitch and reached third on a single by Raven Enders. Targett was able to get Alyssa Conrad to strikeout and Jessica LaTourette flew out to rightfield as Torbert tagged up at third, but Stevenson's relay to catcher Madison Booe was in time for the final out.
Clay City was scoreless until the fourth inning against Northview freshman, Taylor Carter, who allowed a pair of walks and a single over the first three innings. In the fourth inning however, the Eels threatened to break the game open.
With one out, Sloan Miller drew a walk and Allison Carroll was hit-by-pitch before Allie Miller drew a walk to load the bases. Pinch hitter, Carli Jackson came to the plate and patiently waited out an RBI walk to bring home the game's first run.
The Eels had a shot at scoring an insurance run as Shelby Targett flew out to rightfield, however, Carroll was called out for not tagging up at third base. The resulting out ended the threat and the Knights evaded any more damage.
Carter allowed just two hits in the game, but also walked six batters, but coach Bethany Jones was happy with her performance.
The Eels remained in front through five scoreless innings and looked as if they were prepared to start the sixth frame the same way.
Targett got Torbert to flyout for the inning's first out before the defense, errorless until this point, came apart.
Enders reached when her grounder was played and the throw to first was wild. Alyssa Conrad was safe on another infield error to set up Jessica LaTourette's RBI single to tie the game.
Carter stepped to the plate and helped her own cause with an RBI double to centerfield to score Conrad and give the Knights the lead. Kylie McKee came up and hit a grounder to third that was misplayed for a third error in the inning and Lauren Webster's fielder's choice grounder appeared to be the inning's second out. However, the throw home for the potential force out was dropped by the catcher and the Knights added another run.
Sarah Phillips smacked an RBI single to score Carter with the bases still loaded and Nicole Nelson took one for the team when she was hit-by-pitch for another RBI.
The inning continued to spiral out of control for Clay City as Torbert blasted a two-run double for the Knights and later scored on a wildpitch and Enders singled and scored on another errant pitch as the Knights scored 10 unearned runs in the inning.
Clay City coach, Roger Rhodes, understandably didn't have a lot to say about his team's fatal inning, adding only that, 'we just lost it that inning. The wheels basically fell off the wagon.'
The Eels' Karen Treadway reached via a walk in the seventh inning, but Carter was able to pitch her way out of the jam again by getting Booe to flyout to end the game.
"We came out a little timid tonight," Jones said. "Last night we didn't get home until pretty late (from a 6-5 win at Bloomington South) and they were all kind of dragging and tired, but that's no excuse. Once we came out with the short game, (Clay City) had some errors and we capitalized on those errors and got some runs on the board."
After a pair of important wins to start the week, Jones felt that her young team was gaining some valuable experience.
"(The wins over Bloomington South and Clay City) is a tremendous confidence boost," Jones said. "We knew this group was talented, but it was just a matter of putting every piece of the puzzle together and getting them all to hit at once and to play good defense, but we're finally getting there."
On Monday night, Lauren Webster picked up her second hit of the night, driving in her fourth run as Northview won in an 11-inning marathon at Bloomington South.
Alyssa Conrad was the winning pitcher and had two hits, scored twice and drove in a run and freshman, Taylor Carter had a 2-for-6 night at the plate with a run and an RBI.
The Clay City Eels held off the host Shakamak Lakers on Monday night for a 3-2 victory in Tri-River Conference and Southwestern Indiana Conference play.
Allie Miller had two hits with a double and two runs scored and Shaya Stevenson stole two bases and drove in a pair of runs for the Eels.
Madison Sullivan added the Eels other hit as Clay City improved to 5-2 overall and 1-0 in each conference.
At Clay City
2B -- Nv (Carter, Torbert). SB -- Nv (S.Phillips), CC (Treadway, Booe 2).
|Targett (L, 5-3)||5.2||10||10||1||4|
At Bloomington South
S.Phillips, Conrad (6) and LaTourette; Warthan (L) and Utley. W- Conrad (1-1).
Next game: Northview hosts Shakamak Thursday at 5 p.m.
Targett (W, 4-2) and Booe; Crane (L, 2-3) and Pearson.
Next game: Clay City travels to Sullivan on Thursday night at 5 p.m.