Times Staff Reporter
CLAY CITY -- Regulation play couldn't contain an electric pitchers' duel in Clay City Tuesday night, where the Eels dropped a 1-0, eight inning donnybrook to South Putnam.
The Clay City offense was rendered helpless against Eagle ace Brooke Boetjer, who tossed a complete game, one-hit shutout, striking out ten while allowing just two walks. A bang-bang infield single in the fourth inning was the only hit Clay City was able to muster all night.
Boetjer wasn't the only ace who brought top shelf stuff, however, as Shelby Targett matched her shutout performance through seven innings. Targett allowed runners into scoring position in the second, third and sixth innings, but was able to work her way out of a jam in all three innings. She finished the night allowing six hits, while walking one and striking out eight.
An error and a sacrifice bunt gave Clay City a realistic chance of winning in the bottom of the seventh, but Boetjer powered her club through to the eighth.
Finally, in the extra frame, the Eagles were able to find their offense. Krystal Welch led the inning off with a double, and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt.
After Targett forced a pop out to the next batter.
Then, after carrying her team on the mound. Boetjer, who also went 3-for-4 at the plate, recorded the game's only RBI, blasting a single to right, giving her club a 1-0 lead. Eagles coach Chris Jones was understandably praiseful of Boetjer's performance following the game.
"She did an incredible job tonight," Jones said. "She buckled down on the mound and she came through in the clutch when we needed her to."
The Eels didn't go out without threatening in the bottom half of the inning, as Sloan Miller reached on a walk, then got into scoring position following an Allison Carroll sacrifice bunt. But, as she did all night, Boetjer got out of the jam, and secured her team's 1-0 win.
Despite the loss, Eels coach Roger Rhodes said he was captivated by the pitchers' dual he had just witnessed.
"This is the way softball is supposed to be," Rhodes said. "It was a great game."
With the win, the Eagles improved to 16-1 on the season. Jones said his team is starting to play at the level he anticipated at the beginning of the season, but remained optimistic they still had better softball in them.
"We're progressing," Jones said. "We're getting stronger all the time, but we haven't peaked yet. Hopefully we will at the right time."
The loss dropped the Eels to 12-7. While their record is very impressive when considering the plethora of quality teams they have faced, Rhodes has indicated on several occasions his club is good enough to beat anyone. He said his big emphasis following Tuesday's loss was coming up with big hits in the clutch, which his team was unable to do against South Putnam.
"(South Putnam) got a big hit and we didn't," Rhodes said when asked why his team didn't come out on top. "We just couldn't get it done tonight and we have to if we want to win close games."
The Eels return to action Thursday, with a 5 p.m. home game against North Daviess.
Clay City sophomore, Abby Reed, threw a five-inning no-hitter against Union in a dominating 18-0 victory on Monday evening.
The Eels put 12 runs on the board in the pivotal second inning.
Ali Souder drove in four runs for the Eels with Reed adding a hit and scoring twice. Shelby Targett had a hit, scored once and drove in two runs and Shaya Stevenson adding a double and scoring a run for the Eels. Sloan Miller scored three times and had an RBI, Madison Booe had an RBI, scored twice and stole a base with Haleigh Cannon stealing twice and adding two runs scored. Kendall Fowler had a run and an RBI, Chloe Kittle added an RBI and both Michaela Riggs and Allie Miller scored once as well. Chelsea Withrow also had a hit and scored twice in the victory.
At Clay City
2B-- SP (Welch, Whitaker)
At Clay City
Nicol, Kendall (2), Nicol (3) and Jewell; Reed (W, 1-0) and Riggs.