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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Defense leads Linton past Clay City in softball

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

(Photo)
Clay City catcher Madison Booe tags out a Linton runner at the plate on Wednesday.
By Rick Curl

SPORTS WRITER

Sometimes there's no better offense than a good defense.

That adage never rang truer than Wednesday's Southwestern Indiana Athletic Conference matchup between Linton-Stockton and visiting Clay City.

The two teams combined for just seven hits as the Lady Miners grabbed a 3-0 win.

"Sometimes that long ball comes and goes," Lady Miners (10-4, 2-2 SWIAC) coach Ruan Fougerousse said. "But the bunts and the short game that's what carried us yesterday and carried us today.

"As long as we rely on that and keep the defense and keep runs from scoring, we're good."

Linton-Stockton righthander Ashley Stetter fanned five Lady Eels, walked three and worked through two rough spots in the middle of the game.

"She gets the job done," Fougerousse said about her senior hurler. "That's when she digs a little bit deeper and those are when you really appreciate that they (her defense) can step up to the next notch and get the job done."

The first came in the fourth inning as the lone Lady Miner error, a single from Whitney Jeffers and a free pass to Karen Treadway loaded the bases with two outs.

But a sparking play by first baseman Darien Huffman ended the threat when Clay City's Allie Miller scalded a Stetter pitch toward the right field corner.

But Huffman's timing was perfect on the play and she retired Miller to end the challenge.

The next time Stetter was on the ropes came in the fifth when a pair of one-out walks were negated by more solid defensive play.

First she threw out Shaya Stevenson on a sacrifice bunt then induced a pop up to second baseman Savannah Mason.

After that she allowed just one more baserunner when Booe doubled to start the sixth, but was left stranded after a pair of flyball outs and a groundout to Katie West at third.

"The defense really gets behind our pitcher," Fougerousse noted. "That's what being a team's all about -- I really like what I see from the defense."

The Lady Miners bats were able to get just enough off Clay City starter Jeffers to produce all the runs they would need in the second inning.

Back-to-back singles by Huffman and Brilee Parker combined with a sacrifice, an error and a safety squeeze staked Stetter to a 2-0 lead.

Linton-Stockton added an insurance marker in the fourth when Huffman doubled and later scored on an error.

"Hits will come and go," Fougerousse said. "That's when it's nice to have the mix of putting the bunt down or the slap hit and have the speed on the bases."

Fougerousse said with less than two weeks remaining before the sectional she's happy with what she's been seeing from her squad.

"I'm happy with them, they're a fun group to coach," she said. "Usually you can just say a couple of things and they take care of it for you."

The Lady Miners return to action Thursday (today) when the host Terre Haute South in a 5 p.m. contest.

Clay City0000000--024
Linton-Stockton020100x--351

Whitney Jeffers and Madison Booe; Ashley Stetter and Hali Murray. W-Stetter, L-Jeffers. 2B-Clay City, Booe. Linton-Stockton, Darien Huffman.