BY CLAY CUNNINGHAM
Times Staff Reporter
A Clay City softball team searching for consistency may have gone a long way towards establishing it, as they upset Riverton Parke, the state's No. 1 ranked Class A team, in a 2-1 pitchers' duel Tuesday night.
The Eels' upset was sparked by a brilliant performance by pitcher Shelby Targett.
Targett took a no-hitter into the sixth inning, on her way to allowing just one run on three hits over seven innings. She walked only two batters compared to six strikeouts.
More impressive in Targett's performance was her ability to make big pitches with a full count, earning inning-ending strikeouts in the first, second and fifth. She also forced a flyout to second base with a runner on second in the seventh inning to end the game.
Clay City coach Roger Rhodes said his pitcher had been struggling with consistency all year, but said she finally put together a performance she was fully capable of Tuesday night.
"(Shelby) has been struggling to play steady all year," Rhodes said. "But she's starting to put it together, and I think tonight she finally hit her stride."
For much of the night, Targett's brilliance was equally matched by Panther's starter Haley Chambers, who didn't allow a hit until the fourth inning.
Eventually however, Clay City was able to muster enough offense to squeeze out a victory.
After stranding runners at second and third in the fourth inning, the Eels got another rally going when Sloan Miller and Karen Treadway hit back-to-back singles with one out.
After Treadway got to third on a stolen base, Madison Booe drove in the game's first run with an RBI groundout. Shaya Stevenson came to the plate next and added to the lead with a sharp, two-out single to left, pushing the Clay City lead to 2-0.
Riverton Parke got on the board the following inning, with an RBI single from Randi Cookus, scoring Chambers, who ended Targett's no-hit bid with a leadoff double.
Riverton Parke threatened in the final frame, when Katelynn Rewers got to second via a single and stolen base. However, Targett closed the door once and for all, forcing the next hitter to pop out, giving the Eels the upset.
The win moved Clay City to 8-4 on the year. Rhodes said his players were "on cloud nine" after the win, and thought this would prove to be the emotional boost they would need to begin to play at a consistently high level.
"I've told the girls all year that we've got the talent to beat anybody," Rhodes said. "I've been telling them we can beat anybody, any time, and I think tonight proved to them that was true."
The Eels will attempt to continue their hot streak Thursday, when they pay a visit to Terre Haute North.
The Clay City Eels' softball team piled up 11 runs in the first inning to cruise to a 20-6 win over visiting White River Valley on Monday evening.
Shelby Targett doubled twice and drove in three runs and Abby Reed drove in three runs, scored three times and had two hits. Shaya Stevenson had two hits, scored twice and drove in two runs with Madison Booe adding two hits, scoring three times and posting an RBI. Madison Sullivan had a hit, drove in a run and scored twice with Chloe Kittle adding two RBI with a double. Allie Miller had a hit and scored once, Sloan Miller scored three times and Karen Treadway had two runs with an RBI.
Clay City (7-4 overall, 2-0 SWIAC) hosts Turkey Run on Saturday at 11 a.m. The baseball team hosts Owen Valley on Friday night at 4:30 p.m.
At Clay City
2B-- RP (Chambers)
At Clay City
|Clay City (11)23||4x||-||20||11||4|
S.Kail, Fox (1) and T. Kail; Targett, Reed (3) and Booe, Treadway (4).
W -- Targett (6-4). L -- S. Kail.