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By David Sharp
Knox County and Harrisburg avoided a thunderstorm, getting their September 30, 2021 conference softball game at Harrisburg in. The stiff winds and light rain near the beginning of the contest foreshadowed a wild offensive display.
Harrisburg scored six times in the bottom of the fifth inning overcoming a late inning Knox County rally for an 11-10 victory. Carli Ellis drove in three Bulldog runs. Austyn Anderson was 2-3 with an RBI and a run scored.
Harrisburg pitcher Emma Fischer set Knox County down in order during the top of the first inning. Abbey Rosson and Emma Fischer singled and scored during a three run Bulldog first inning. Brecca Thornhill smacked an RBI triple for a 3-0 Harrisburg lead.
Jen Hinkle took an at bat away from Abby Rosson with a diving catch of a short pop up near the Harrisburg dugout for the first out of the second inning. Baila Miller made a good fielding play, robbing Emma Fischer of a probable extra base hit down the first base line for the second out of inning three.
Taylor Walker singled leading off the Knox County second inning. Harrisburg catcher Katie Starbuck threw a runner out attempting to steal second base for the first out of the Eagle second.
Knox County trimmed the Bulldog lead with a two run fourth inning. Jen Hinkle tripled leading off the inning. Daniela Dooley drove Hinkle home with an RBI double. Brianna Miller singled. Bryston Miller plated Brianna Miller with an RBI ground out.
Harrisburg came back with a single tally in their fourth inning. Brecca Thornhill reached base on a dropped third strike leading off the inning. Austyn Anderson stroked a two out, RBI hit for a 4-2 Harrisburg lead after four full innings.
”I give a lot of credit to Knox County,” Harrisburg coach Steve Combs said. “They fought back when we had the lead. They didn’t go away. They fought right back at us. We kind of had the advantage of hitting last.”
“Our pitching held up in the seventh inning,” Steve Combs said. “Emma Fischer is an all state caliber catcher, but she has to pitch for us. It was a good fun game against a good conference rival.”
The fifth inning saw a combined ten runs put on the board. Abby Becker singled with one out. Agnes Reel walked. Jen Hinkle drove home two runs with a run producing double.
Daniela Dooley had an RBI hit. Brianna Miller singled and moved to third base on a wild pitch. Carli Ellis saved a run with a good fielding play at first base. Knox County scored four runs on four hits for a 6-4 Knox County lead in the middle of the fifth inning.
Harrisburg took advantage of a dropped fly ball and a dropped third strike for a six run fifth inning. Carli Ellis delivered a two run, two out double. Harrisburg took back the lead at 10-6 after five innings.
Knox County competed hard in the last four innings. The Lady Eagles put four more runs on the board in the top of the sixth inning. Baila Miller led off with a hit. Miller moved up on an error. She later scored on another Harrisburg error.
Bailey Bowen singled. Abby Becker reached base and scored on another error. Jen Hinkle drew a walk and scored. Two runs scored on a deep sacrifice fly to center field by Daniela Dooley. Brianna Miller doubled with two out in the sixth inning.
Emma Fischer induced a ground ball to short stop for the final out. Knox County tied the score at ten each.
Katie Starbuck singled leading off the Bulldog sixth inning. Abby Becker made a nice outfield play, robbing Abby Rosson of a hit for the second time in the contest. A walk to Emma Fischer and a wild pitch put runners on first and third base with one out.
Katelyn Blakemore executed a squeeze play, scoring Katie Starbuck for an 11-10 Harrisburg lead. Agnes Reel got the final three outs for Knox County.
The Lady Eagles could not mount another rally in the seventh inning. Harrisburg scored 11 runs on seven hits. Emma Fischer pitched the first six innings with three strikeouts and one walk on seven hits. Five of the six runs charged to Fischer were earned.
Brecca Thornhill pitched the final inning for Harrisburg. Thornhill allowed three hits and one walk.
Knox County scored ten runs on 11 hits. Brianna Miller was 3-4 with a run scored and two batted in. Jen Hinkle was 2-3 with three runs scored and an RBI. Abby Becker and Agnes Reel scored two runs each.
Daniela Dooley pitched five innings for Knox County. Dooley struck out five with no walks on ten hits. Agnes Reel pitched one inning with a walk on no hits.
“They made plays when they needed to,” Knox County coach Lauren Dale said. “That’s something we have to get better at. We have to get better at the mental side of the game.”
“We have to be present every inning, every pitch. Going forward, we have to figure that out.” Lauren Dale said.