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By David Sharp
Salisbury (16-4) played a solid defensive game in October 2, 2020 Lewis and Clark Conference softball at Knox County. The defending Class 1 state champion Panthers opened up a four run game with a seven run sixth inning for an 11-0 win.
Jaden Howard cashed in a first inning Knox County error and passed ball with a two run hit before an out was recorded in the first inning. Khloe Wyatt and Breanne Haines scored on the play.
Knox County starter Kinsley Johnson pitched around the Panther runner on second and none out, striking out two batters and inducing a ground ball to Riley Strange at shortstop for the final out of the first inning.
The Lady Eagles (8-9) created a first inning scoring chance. Kinsley Johnson drew a one out walk. Riley Strange singled putting runners on first and second base. Salisbury third baseman Kate Kottman robbed Daniela Dooley of a hit with a nice defensive play of a well hit ball down the line.
Salisbury pitcher Jaden Howard held the Lady Eagles off the board in the opening inning. Knox County would up leaving eight runners on base to five for Salisbury.
The Lady Eagles allowed one Panther base runner in the second and third innings. Knox County had a two out chance when Kinsley Johnson singled. Riley Strange drew a walk. Jaden Howard fanned a batter to end the KCHS third inning without scoring.
Salisbury second baseman Rachel Fessler led off the Panther fourth with a base hit. Kate Kottman followed with a hit. A wild pitch moved the runners into scoring position. Emma Stowers grounded out scoring Fessler with the third Salisbury run. Anna White delivered a two out hit for a 4-0 Salisbury lead after four full innings.
Two outstanding defensive plays stalled a potential Knox County rally in the fifth inning. Kinsley Johnson walked with one out. Riley Strange was hit by a pitch, putting Lady Eagles on first and second base.
Anna White made one of the best catches of the year when she robbed Daniela Dooley of an RBI hit with a diving catch in center field. Brooke Bartholomew turned in another nice catch in left field for the final out.
White and Bartholomew are two returning starters from last season’s championship Salisbury softball team. The Panthers graduated seven seniors including four time all state pitcher Bryn Wooldridge.
Knox County defended well in the fifth inning, pulling off a 6-4-3 double play for the first two outs of the inning. Rachel Fessler grounded out to second base for the first out of the Salisbury sixth inning.
Kate Kottman singled. Brooke Bartholomew drilled an RBI triple for a 5-0 Salisbury lead. A misplayed fly ball in the outfield led to another Panther run. Two straight hits and a misplayed ball on the infield set up Jaden Howard for a three run homer. The blast hit the Knox County scoreboard in center field.
Kinsley Johnson struck out a batter for the second out. Kate Kottman collected her second hit in the same inning. Riley Strange caught a fly ball for the third out. Salisbury scored seven runs on six hits for an 11-6 lead after five and a half innings.
Knox County went down in order in their sixth inning, closing the contest by the ten run rule. The Lady Eagles were blanked on three hits and two errors. Three different Eagles had a hit each.
Kinsley Johnson struck out five batters without a walk in six innings pitched.
Salisbury had 11 runs on 13 hits and one error. Khloe Wyatt was 3-4 with two runs scored. Jaden Howard was 2-4 at bat with two runs scored, a homer and five RBI’s. Kate Kottman was 3-4 for Salisbury with two runs scored. Anna White went 2-3 with an RBI and a run scored.