PEDRO, Ohio — The Lucasville Lady Indians defeated the Coal Grove Hornets Saturday afternoon at the Rock Hill ‘Queen of the Hill’ softball tournament by a score of 5-4.
Valley had a 4-run lead heading into the top of the seventh. Indians’ pitcher Amber Altman had looked solid all game, giving up only one run on five hits while racking up eight strikeouts. Needing only three outs to solidify their first victory of the season, she took the mound once again. This inning was different though, as she would have to battle for every out.
The Hornets finally had some sting in their bats. After getting two girls on base, Kasey Murphy knocked in the first RBI of the inning for Coal Grove. The cleanup hitter, Lauren Crum, then stepped to the plate and blasted a home run over the fences to make the score 5-4.
Valley’s Altman stayed composed. With runners on second and third and two outs she managed to get a ground ball out to win the game. Indians head coach Tim Brown was glad for the first win of the season, but admitted that Coal Grove gave him a scare late.
“When you go into the last inning of any ballgame and you have the lead the most important out is the first out,” Brown said. “Well, we walked the first batter. The second batter bunted and got on base. We ended up getting in a situation where you are pitching from behind, even with the lead on the scoreboard.
“Coal Grove had a lot of momentum in the seventh. I called a pitch down and in, and I could tell Amber was getting tired because she hung it against their cleanup hitter. When the pitches start raising in the strike zone there are a lot of high school girls who can drive on that. You have to play the four corners of the plate, that’s why it’s so important to get ahead in the count.”
For Valley, their offense came late in the fifth and sixth innings. Kirbi Sommers knocked in two RBIs in the fifth while Destiny Gardner had a double that drove in two runs in the sixth. Coal Grove also gave up an unearned run.
“We expect our girls to perform in clutch situations,” said Brown. “That’s their job. It’s to get out there and hit the ball. We faced a tough pitcher tonight, she throws a lot of fast curveballs away. Early in the game we were reaching for it. We finally started crowing the plate and managed to get balls in the hole. They battled out there. For early in the season I’m proud of them.”
Coal Grove 0 0 0 1 0 0 3 — 4 9 2
Valley 0 0 0 0 2 3 0 — 5 8 2
Coal Grove – Meyer 2-4, Riley 1-4, Murphy 1-4 RBI, Crum 1-2 (HR 2 RBI, BB), Moore 3-4, Keaton 3-4 (RBI)
Valley- Kuhn 1-2 (2 SB), Sommers 1-3 (2B 2 RBIs), Brown 1-3, Mankins 2-3 (2B), Gardner 2-3 (2 RBIs), Schackart 1-2
W- Altman (1-0) 7 IP, 9 hits, 4 R, 8 K, 2 BB
L- Wiliams (0-1) 6 IP, 8 hits, 5 R, 4 ER, 7 K, 1 BB