Lady Vikings lock up SOC

Published 3:11 am Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Jim Walker


PORTSMOUTH — The race is over.

We’re not talking about the Kentucky Derby, but the Southern Ohio Conference softball race as the Symmes Valley Lady Vikings edged the Portsmouth Notre Dame Lady Titans 3-1 on Monday.

Symmes Valley is 18-3 overall and clinches the league championship at 13-0 win one league game left. The Lady Vikings beat the Lady Titans 2-1 on Friday.

The title was the first for the Lady Vikings’ two seniors Autumn Keathley and Brenna Morris.

“All these kids have worked hard and they are well deserving,” said Lady Vikings’ coach Jeff “Odie” Estep. “It was nice to see the seniors get a title before they graduated.”

Kaitlyn Payne got the win with a five-hitter. She struck out three and walked two. She also went 2-for-3 at the plate with a home run and two runs batted in.

“We got good pitching, clutch hits and good defense. Both pitchers kind of mirrored each other, we were just able to make a play or two,” Estep.

“The defense came up with some big plays again and Payne did a good job keeping the ball down on them.”

The game was scoreless until the fourth when Taylor Webb and Payne singled to start the inning. Two outs later, Sierra Ross walked to load the bases and Hannah Mays walked to force in a run.

Payne took care of the two-run fifth with a home run to centerfield after Webb reached on a fielder’s choice.

The Lady Titans tried to rally in the seventh but could only manage a run.

Maggie Hoover reached on a dropped fly ball, Maggie Whitman singled and went to second on a throwing error. Brooke Pierron then singled home Hoover.

Megha Patel walked to load the bases but Payne got the next batter to fly out to centerfield to end the game.

The Lady Titans had the bases loaded in the fifth but a short fly out and ground ball for a force out ended the inning.

Notre Dame (12-8, 7-3) stranded 10 runners. Patel and Whitman — the losing pitcher — were each 2-4.

Symmes Valley host Fairland on Tuesday.

Sym. Valley 000 120 0 = 3 5 2

Notre Dame 000 000 1 = 1 5 1

Kaitlyn Payne and Tiara Hatfield. Maggie Whitman and Brooke Pierron. W-Payne (K-3, BB-3). L-Whitman (K-3, BB-2). Hitting—SV: Stephanie Brown 1-4, Caitlin Carpenter 1-3, Taylor Webb 1-3, Kaitlyn Payne 2-3 HR rbi-2; PND: Maggie Whitman 2-4, Brooke Pierron 1-4 rbi, Megha Patel 2-4.