Another last-inning win for Lady Miners
For the second time in as many nights the Linton-Stockton Lady Miners softball team pushed the winning run across the plate in the bottom of the seventh inning.
Monday against North Central pinch runner Aubrey Walton scored the game’s only run, coming home on an error.
The Lady Miners did it again Tuesday.
In another fantastic finish, Linton-Stockton left fielder Alexis James crossed the plate on Jaelyn Walker’s grounder to second, completing a come-from-behind 4-3 win over the visiting Edgewood Lady Mustangs.
“That’s two nights in a row we’ve executed in the bottom of the seventh,” Lady Miners coach Ruan Fougerousse said. “I couldn’t be happier as a coach. The kids are just showing a lot of poise right now.”
James led off the seventh with her third hit of the game, a looper down the right field line.
Brantli Lannan laid down an attempted sacrifice bunt. The Edgewood infield let it go, thinking the ball would roll foul. It didn’t and both runners were safe.
Walker stepped to the plate next. Her sharply hit ground ball to second was bobbled momentarily.
Without hesitating James rounded third and headed for home, beating the throw from second.
In the sixth The Lady Miners had tied the score at 3-all on consecutive base hits by Audrey Elliott and Peyton Bland. Elliott raced home with the tying run when the throw to third got away.
Linton-Stockton seized the upper hand early.
Pitcher Ashlyn Ferree mowed down the top of the Mustangs’ order in their first turn at bat. And the Lady Miners put up two runs on three hits.
Lannan beat out an infield hit to start things off. Walker smacked a triple down the right-field line sending Lannan home and crossed the plate on Elliott’s bloop single.
Edgewood answered with a run in the top of the second.
Taylor Acuff singled to lead off. Acuff scored from first on Grace Bretfeld’s double into the gap in right center.
Ferree had pitched seven tough innings against North Central the night before and gave way to Bland in the third.
And the bags were filled with Mustangs, on a hit batsman, a bunt and Serenah Morris’ base hit.
“I told my coaches in the dugout, ‘We’re going to find out what she’s made of,’” Fougerousse said of the freshman pitcher inheriting a bases-loaded, no-outs jam.
“And I liked what I saw.”
Bretveld delivered a sacrifice fly. But the next two hitters flied out and popped up and the Lady Miners escaped further damage.
But after their first turn at the plate, the Linton-Stockton bats went silent until the sixth. The Lady Miners managed just three scattered singles in four innings.
Edgewood tallied a run in the fifth to take the lead.
Morris’ hot smash over the second baseman went for two bases. She scampered home with the lead run when Acuff’s bouncing ball found the hole between third and short.
Bland allowed three hits but no runs thereafter.
And when the tying run for the Lady Miners came across in the sixth, the stage was set for another climactic finish.
“The bottom line is, I’m just really liking their confidence in those situations,” Fougerousse said. “It’s that ‘can-do’ spirit.
“I told the girls in the huddle, ‘Right now if we continue this way we’re going to be hard to stop.’”
The L-S coach pointed out the Lady Mustangs’ top four hitters have combined for 10 home runs this season.
“Those top four hit home runs against us last year,” Fougerousse recalled. “I’m pleased as punch to keep them to three runs.”
Last year the Mustangs defeated the Lady Miners 12-2. Fougerousse called it “A big improvement lasy year to this year.”
She added, “Our pitching has come around and so has our defense. Our bats seem to come and go. But that’s the nature of the game.”
Linton-Stockton is idle until Monday when the Lady Miners host Southwestern Indiana Athletic Conference foe North Daviess.
MINERS 4, MUSTANGS 3
Edgewood 011 010 0 -- 3 10 2
Linton-Stockton 200 001 1 -- 4 10 1
EDGEWOOD (7-4) -- Karlee Bland (L) and Natalie Schapker. Top hitters: Taylor Acuff 2-3, RBI; Grace Bretveld, 2-4, RBI; Serenah Morris 2-4. 2B: Morris, Bretveld.
LINTON-STOCKTON (6-4) -- Ashlyn Ferree, Peyton Bland (3, W) and Sierra Flater. Top Hitters: Alexis James 3-3; Audrey Elliott 2-2, RBI. 3B: Jaelyn Walker.