By CODY LEIST
PDT Sports Writer
LUCASVILLE — With an eight-day layoff, rust was a major concern for Montie Spriggs’ top-seeded Valley Lady Indian softball team Friday afternoon.
An early strike by No. 8 Adena got the attention of the host Lady Indians before Braiden Dillow’s performance at the plate helped host Valley earn a 9-2 win in a Division III Southeast Sectional softball championship. The Bowling Green signee was 3-for-4 with six runs batted in.
“She’s a warrior and in a tough game, she’s going to go up and play well,” Spriggs said.
The Lady Warriors drew first blood in the top of the first when Cara Coy’s single off Dillow scored Alyssa Dawson and Lexie Roll. The Lady Indians responded in the bottom half of the inning when Dillow’s single drove in Emily Richard.
The Valley rally started in the third when Richard reached on an error. Brooke Cooper stepped up with a single and Kayla Koch hit an RBI single to bring in Richard and tie the game at 2-2.
Then up stepped Dillow. On an 0-1 count, she turned around a Logan Bowdle pitch and cleared the left field fence for a three-run home run.
The blast was her second of the season. More importantly it gave her team the 5-2 lead, an advantage they would not relinquish.
In the fifth, Koch hit a triple in the right center field gap. Two pitches later, she scored on a Dillow RBI groundout.
The Lady Indians finished up the scoring with three in the sixth. The final run was an RBI single by Dillow to score Koch, who was also 3-for-4, for a third time.
“(Dillow) and Kayla Koch both hit the ball hard, ” Spriggs said. “Cooper hit the ball hard (in the third) but we’ve got to get the other people on base and today we just didn’t do that.”
Toeing the rubber, Dillow struck out seven and walked one. She was forced to work in certain spots as her team committed four errors in the contest.
While the defensive woes were an issue concerning Spriggs, he sees the big picture as his team now moves on to next week’s district tournament. Among the things that his team learned they have to improve upon is being more disciplined at the plate.
“You can tell we hadn’t played in eight days,” Spriggs said. “It shown today offensively and defensively.”
Valley will travel Wednesday afternoon to Unioto High School and face No. 4 Fairland, which defeated No. 5 Ironton 7-1 Friday afternoon.
Cody Leist can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 242, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Adena 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 — 2 6 3
Valley 1 0 4 0 1 3 x — 9 10 4
Adena — Givens 0-3 (BB), A. Dawson 1-4 (R), Roll 1-4 (R), Coy 2-4 (2 RBI), Sims 2-3.
Valley — Malizio 0-3 (SAC), Richard 1-2 (2 BB, 3 R), Cooper 1-2 (BB, SAC, RBI, R), Koch 3-4 (3B, 2 RBI, 3 R), Dillow 3-4 (HR, 6 RBI, R), Conley 1-3, Montgomery 1-3 (R).
W — Dillow (22-0)
L — Bowdle (8-11)
Records — Valley 23-0; Adena 10-14.