Schuyler County Rides First Inning Wave to Conference Victory
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By David Sharp
Schuyler County (1-7, 1-2) scored six first inning runs in September 17, 2020 conference softball action with Knox County and came away with a 9-4 win.
MaKinley Aeschliman started off a two out rally with a base hit off KCHS starter Kinsley Johnson. The Lady Eagles (2-5) could have escaped further damage without a dropped third strike that allowed Kyra Cullers to reach base.
Kelsey Cohagen cashed in the miscue with an RBI hit. Bailie Atkinson struck the key blow with a bases clearing double. Madison Blackorby ripped an RBI single. Knox County brought in Daniela Dooley to pitch and changed several players’ defensive positions.
Addy Spray delivered an RBI single for a 6-0 Schuyler County lead after one inning. Kaitlin Hatfield led off the Ram second inning with a triple after setting the Lady Eagles down in order from the Schuyler County circle.
MaKinley Aeschliman delivered an RBI hit for a 7-0 Ram lead. Knox County catcher Taylor Walker got the first out with a nice catch of a foul pop fly behind the plate. Dooley limited Schuyler County to one baserunner through the fourth inning.
The Lady Eagles sent eight batters to the plate during a third inning rally. Baila Miller led off with a hit. Kinsley Johnson drew a one out walk. Jen Hinkle forced an error. A pitch hit Riley Strange, forcing in a run.
Kaitlin Campbell delivered a clutch two RBI hit. The next batter grounded out to end the inning. Knox County trimmed the Ram lead to 7-3 after three full innings. Madison Blackorby plated Tinley Roberts with a base hit for an 8-3 lead in the fifth inning.
Daniela Dooley doubled and scored on a throwing error for an 8-4 tally. MaKinley Aeschliman doubled and scored on Kyra Cullers’ RBI hit. Knox County had runners on second and third base when the game ended with Schuyler County winning by a 9-4 margin.
Schuyler County scored nine runs on 13 hits. Kaitlyn Hatfield was 3-4 for the Rams. MaKinley Aeschliman went 2-4 with two runs scored and another batted in. Bailie Atkinson was 2-4 with a run scored and three batted in. Madison Blackorby was 2-3 with two runs batted in for Schuyler County.
Kaitlyn Hatfield went the seven inning distance with ten strikeouts, two walks on three hits.
Knox County scored four runs on four hits. Jen Hinkle, Daniela Dooley, Kaitlin Campbell and Baila Miller went 1-3 with a run scored each. Campbell had two RBI’s.
Kinsley Johnson pitched two thirds of an inning with five hits and five runs allowed. Daniela Dooley tossed five and a third innings with two strikeouts on eight hits.
“I think we did a good job getting on her early and putting that lead up,” Schuyler County coach Chris Prewitt said. “It gave us room to not make mistakes. But if we did it’s not the end of the world.”
“We could learn from it and focus on getting outs,” Chris Prewitt said. “In other games we were always trailing from behind or it was a one or two run lead. That big first inning really helped us smooth things out. Kate (Hatfield) pitched comfortably. Our defense backed it up, so I was pretty proud of them.”
The Lady Eagles had chances to pressure the Ram defense but could not get the big hit they needed except in the third inning. “It (stinks) but it’s how you respond,” Knox County coach Lauren Dale said.
“In the game of softball it’s a lot about adversity and overcoming adversity. We just have to find a way to overcome different things,” Lauren Dale said. “We are going to be OK. Take away that first inning and it’s a 4-3 ball game. We win.”
“That should have been the case. We had a third out on a strikeout that should have been put out. We just have to get better at the little things and make the adjustments,” Coach Dale said.
“We have to get there mentally too. We just have to be mentally tougher,” Lauren Dale said. “We have some really athletic kids. It’s not physical. We have some really talented softball players. We have to find the mental capacity to overcome. To fight battles.”
“I think it starts with Coach Otto and I. We have got to find a way to make the adjustment to get the girls more game ready every day. We may have to make practice more game like, so they are in pressure situations.”
“So hopefully that’s what we are going to make the transition to now.”