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Lady ’Cats outlast Clay in 14

PICKERINGTON — The smallest player came up with the biggest play.

Green’s 5-foot second baseman Ashlee Runyon singled and scored on an error for the game’s only run in the 14th inning as the Lady Bobcats beat the Portsmouth Clay Lady Panthers 1-0 Thursday in the Division IV regional softball semifinals.

The run ended a stellar pitcher’s duel between Green’s Ali Thompson and the Lady Panthers’ Cami Groves.

“Ashlee came up big. She hit the ball and just kept running,” said Green coach Dale Royse.

In the top of the 14th, Runyon went the opposite way to right field and the ball sliced away from the rightfielder. Runyon kept running as she rounded second base and the throw got away from the Clay shortstop and went into left field.

The throw home was late as Runyon crossed the plate with the go-ahead run.

“I was really proud of our girls. Several innings they got the leadoff hitter on and sacrificed her to second base but we just made plays. The defense stepped up and played well. I was really pleased with that,” said Royse.

Thompson struck out 15, walked one and allowed six hits in the route-going performance. Groves was just as impressive with 22 strikeouts, one walk and five walks.

“Ali really worked. She was drained after the game,” said Royse. “But Groves is one heck of a pitcher, too.”

Green (18-3) will play Strasburg-Franklin at 1 p.m. Saturday in the regional finals with a berth in the state tournament at stake.

Clay ends the season 16-7.

Green 000 000 000 000 01 = 1 5 1

Clay 000 000 000 000 00 = 0 6 2

Ali Thompson and Abbey Barrett. Cami Groves and Dani Summers. W-Thompson (15-K, 1-BB). L-Groves (22-K, 1-BB). Hitting- Green: Destiny Skaggs 1-6, Cassidy Skaggs 1-4, Abbey Barrett 1-5, Ali Thompson 1-5, Ashlee Runyon 1-5; Clay: Sarah Castle 1-6, Cami Groves 1-6, Tori Osborne 2-6, Emily Spriggs 1-4, Ruby 1-5.