Clay outlasts Lady Vikings

Published 2:37 am Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Jim Walker


AID — Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good.

A couple of fluke plays enabled the Portsmouth Clay Lady Panthers to outlast the Symmes Valley Lady Vikings 12-10 on Tuesday in a Southern Ohio Conference game.

Clay is now 22-3 and wins the SOC with a 14-0 record. The Lady Vikings are 16-5 and 11-2 in the league.

A play in the fifth and another in the seventh helped Clay beat the Lady Vikings.

“We hit tonight. It was just those two fluke things. It just wasn’t meant for us to win. Our girls played hard and rebounded and showed a lot of character. They showed a lot of fight. It was just a fluke thing,” said Lady Vikings’ coach Jeff “Odie” Estep.

“Clay has a heck of a team. They battled just like us. They’re a good hitting team.”

Symmes Valley bolted to a 6-0 lead in the first inning.

Stephanie Brown walked, Taylor Webb singled and Kaitlyn Payne doubled off the fence for two runs. Tiara Hatfield hit into a fielder’s choice, Sierra Ross singled in a run, Caitlin Carpenter single and Kara Saunders had an RBI single.

Hannah Mays then capped the rally with a two-run single.

Clay got two runs in the second when Tressa Carter doubled, Gabby Hickman singled and Bre Donahue singled them home.

The Lady Vikings got a run back in the bottom of the inning when Sarah Kingery singled, went to third on a walk and wild pitch, and Mays reached on an error to score Kingery.

Clay got within 7-6 in the fourth

Hickman doubled and Lila Brown and Donahue singled for a run. Rachel Cooper then walked and two straight sacrifice bunts by Jensen Warnock and Shaelyn Vassar drove in two runs.

Clay took the lead with three runs in the fifth.

Carter homered to lead off the inning. Swain reached on an error, Hickman put down a sacrifice, Brown walked and after a sacrifice Cooper hit ball deep to leftfield that was caught momentarily but the collision with the fence jarred it loose as the runners scored.

The Lady Vikings tied the game at 9-9 in the sixth.

Webb singled, moved up on a fielder’s choice, Hatfield singled her to third and Kingery hit into a fielder’s choice for a run.

Mays walked, went to second on a wild pitch, Carpenter singled her to third and Mays scored on a wild pitch.

Clay took a 12-9 lead in the top of seventh with a little lady luck.

Hickman singled and Donahue reached on a fielder’s choice. Cooper hit a weak pop up into no man’s land in front of home and four players converged.

Catcher Tiara Hatfield was running toward the ball that hit and the backspin caused it to hit her foot and deflected toward second base. The two runners scored and Cooper scored in the confusion.

The Lady Vikings wouldn’t quit as they rallied in the bottom of the inning only to fall short.

Payne walked, moved up on a wild pitch and Hatfield singled her home.

Webb and Kingery were 2-4 and Hatfield 2-5 to lead the Lady Vikings’ 12-hit attack.

Clay pitchers combined for seven walks and just three strikeouts.

The Lady Vikings visit Eastern on Wednesday in their final SOC game.

Ports. Clay 020 430 3 = 12 12 1

Sym. Valley 610 002 1 = 10 12 2

Julia Swain, Jensen Warnock (1), Hannah Oliver (7) and Cassidy Wells. Sarah Kingery and Tiara Hatfield. W-Warnock. L-Kingery (K-7, BB-2). Hitting-Clay: Gabby Hickman 3-4, Bre Donahue 2-4, Rachel Cooper 2-4, Tressa Carter 2-3, Jensen Warnock 1-5, Shaelyn Vassar 1-5, Lila Brown 1-4; SV: Tiara Hatfield 2-5 rbi, Taylor Webb 2-4, Kaitlyn Payne 1-4 rbi-2 2B, Stephanie Brown 1-4, Sierra Ross 1-4, Sarah Kingery 2-4, Caitlin Carpenter 1-2, Kara Saunders 1-2, Hannah Mays 1-3 rbi-2.