Clay used a four-run bottom of the seventh inning to defeat SOC I foe Symmes Valley 9-8 Thursday afternoon at Pickerington Central High School.
“We’ll take it,” Clay coach Dick McCleese said. “Two of our last three games we have won in our last at bat. They never quit, play hard and they are a great bunch of girls. I am proud of every one of them.”
After Holly Hempill and Tori Osborne drew back-to-back walks to open the inning, Mariah Tackett and Lyndsey Mader hit a pair of singles to cut the Lady Viking lead to one run. Alison Castle’s fielder’s choice tied the game and Emily Spriggs’ one-out single plated Mader to win the game for Clay.
“I was under so much pressure because the game was tied,” Spriggs said. “I just had to get a hit to get one run in and I hit it out there. It was the best feeling in the world.”
Lyndsey Mader picked up the win in the circle for Clay. Mader went the distance giving up eight runs, six earned on eight hits, striking out five and allowing two walks.
Nikki Nance was tagged with the loss for Symmes Valley. Nance gave up three runs, two earned in three innings of work. She struck out none and gave up three free passes.
Symmes Valley struck first scoring twice in the top of the first inning. Jessie Morris singled, advanced on an error and a fielder’s choice before scoring on an error. Brooke Skinner singled and later was knocked in by Chelsea Wall.
Clay scored one run in each of the first two innings. In the first frame, Marissa Messer singled, stole second and scored when a ball in the dirt squirted away from the Symmes Valley catcher. In the second inning, Mader reached on an error and scored on another Symmes Valley miscue.
Symmes Valley decided to play long ball to retake the lead. Kayla Ross hit a three-run blast off the flagpole in the left-center field in the third inning to put the Lady Vikings up by three.
Clay answered with a three spot in the home half of the fourth aided by a two-run shot off the bat of Marissa Messer. Messer was 2-for-4 with a double and home run on the night and scored twice. Moments later Osborne knocked in Keely Craft to knot the game at five apiece. Osborne was 2-for-2 with an RBI.
Symmes Valley answered with one run in each of the last three innings. Nance scored on a Wall single in the fifth. Kayla Ross singled and later scored in the sixth and Skinner scored on a Wall single in the last inning.
The Lady Vikings held a three-run edge going into the last inning before Clay started hitting on all cylinders and mounted a comeback and finished it off with the walk-off single by Spriggs. Spriggs went 3-for-3 on the night with the game winning RBI.
Symmes Valley 203 011 1 – 8 8 4
Clay 110 300 4 — 9 12 3