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Lady Vikings win district title, 8-1

Symmes Valley Lady Vikings’ Hannah Mays crashes into the fence as she robs a possible home run by Portsmouth Clay. Symmes Valley beat Clay 8-1 to win the district title. (Kent Sanborn of Southern Ohio Sports Photos)

Symmes Valley Lady Vikings’ Hannah Mays crashes into the fence as she robs a possible home run by Portsmouth Clay. Symmes Valley beat Clay 8-1 to win the district title. (Kent Sanborn of Southern Ohio Sports Photos)

Jim Walker

jim.walker@irontontribune.com

 

MINFORD — The third time was the charm.

After losing twice during the regular season to Portsmouth Clay, the Symmes Valley Lady Vikings turned the tables in the Division IV district finals on Monday by beating the Lady Panthers 8-1.

“That’s very big. I told them that after the game. We could have easily laid down and let them beat us again. But we stepped up and played hard,” said Lady Vikings coach Jeff “Odie” Estep.

“Sarah Kingery did a heck of a job hitting for a freshman and our seniors really stepped up.”

Kaitlyn Payne pitched a three-hitter to get the win. She struck out four and walked three.

“Payne located the ball well and kept the ball down. Her location was very good today. Offensively, we hit the ball up and down the lineup,” said Estep.

Symmes Valley (22-5) will now play Strasburg-Franklin at 5 p.m. on Wednesday in the regional semifinals at Pickerington Central High School. The regional championship game is noon on Saturday.

Strasburg-Franklin (22-6) beat defending state champion Shadyside 11-1 in six innings to reach the regional semifinals.

Symmes Valley went up 1-0 in the first inning.

Stephanie Brown singled to start the inning, went to second on Taylor Webb’s ground ball and scored when Tiara Hatfield singled to left for the RBI.

The score remained that way until the Lady Vikings got two runs in the fourth.

Caitlin Carpenter got a two-out single, Kara Saunders singled, Hannah Mays walked, and Brown hit into a fielder’s choice to score pinch-runner Kaitlyn Crabtree. Webb then singled home the second run.

Clay got its run in the top of the sixth to trail 3-1. Bre Donahue walked and scored on a double by Julia Swain.

But the Lady Vikings answered with five runs in the bottom of the inning.

Brown singled, Webb walked and Payne singled in a run. Hatfield singled to load the bases and Webb scored on a wild pitch.

Kingery then singled in a run and Carpenter doubled home two more runs.

The Lady Vikings did not make and error and turned in two stellar defensive plays.

Mays made one in the third inning when she crashed into the fence and robbed Cassidy Wells of a home run.

Webb made a diving catch with a runner on base in the top of the seventh to end the game.

“We played well defensively. Mays and Webb both made great catches,” said Estep.

Kingery was 3-4 as the Lady Vikings had 13 hits. Carpenter was 2-3 with a double and two RBIs while Brown and Hatfield each went 2-4.

Ports. Clay 000 001 0 = 1 3 3

Sym. Valley 100 205 x = 8 13 0

Jensen Warnock, Julia Swain (6) and Cassidy Wells. Kaitlyn Payne and Tiara Hatfield. W- Payne IP-7, K-4, BB-3. L-Warnock IP-5.0, R-6, H-9, K-1, BB-5. Swain IP-1, K-1, BB-0, H-4, R-2. Hitting-Clay: Jensen Warnock 1-3, Julia Swain 1-3 2b rbi, Shaelyn Vassar 1-3; SV: Sarah Kingery 3-4 rbi, Caitlin Carpenter 2-3 rbi-2 2b, Stephanie Brown 2-4, Tiara Hatfield 2-4 rbi, Kara Saunders 1-4, Hannah Mays 1-3, Taylor Webb 1-3, Kaitlyn Payne 1-4 rbi.