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Lady Vikings fall to Clay

MINFORD — The third time wasn’t the charm.

After beating Portsmouth Clay twice in the regular season, the Symmes Valley Lady Vikings suffered a heartbreaking 1-0 loss to the Lady Panthers on Saturday in the Division IV district finals.

“It’s always tough to beat a team a third time in one season. This has happened to us a couple of times before,” said Lady Vikings’ coach Jeff “Odie” Estep.

Clay scored the only run of the game in the first inning.

Keely Craft walked, Sarah Castle put down a sacrifice bunt and Dani Summers hit into a fielder’s choice to put Craft at third base. After an intentional walk to Cami Groves, Tori Osborne singled up the middle to drive in Craft.

The score came after the Lady Vikings missed a scoring chance in the top of the inning.

Erica Corn singled to start the Lady Vikings first inning. Haily Pelletier was safe on an error and Kayla Ross walked to load the bases.

But the next two batters hit shallow pop flies to end the threat.

“The first inning was a killer,” said Estep. “If we could had gotten a key hit in the first inning or advanced the runners in the third, we could have got some runs.”

The Lady Vikings had runners at first and second with one out in the third inning but hit a pair of fly balls.

“We hit the ball, but we hit it right at them,” said Estep.

“We did play one heck of a defensive game. Brooke Skinner had four fabulous plays at shortstop. Jessie Morris at second base made two great plays and we had two nice running catches in the outfield. But they did, too. It was that type of a ball game.”

The game was played in one hour and 10 minutes.

Symmes Valley ends the season 19-6. The Lady Vikings lose seniors Pelletier, Carter, Ash and Jennifer Smith.

“Our program will definitely miss them,” said Estep.

Clay is 16-5.

Symmes Valley 000 000 0 = 0 5 1

Ports. Clay 100 000 x = 1 3 2

Libby Ash and Chelsea Wall. Cami Groves and Dani Summers. W-Groves (10-K, 2-BB). L-Ash (3-K, 2-BB). Hitting-Symmes Valley: Erica Corn 2-4, Haily Pelletier 1-3, Chelsea Wall 1-3, Julie Carter 1-3; Clay: Cami Groves 1-1, Tori Osborne 1-3, Emily Spriggs 1-3.