Valley rolls to 2nd straight sectional


LUCASVILLE — Once again, Emilie Johnson pitched the Valley Indians into a Southeast District softball semifinal.

That’s because the senior right-hander Johnson, on Wednesday against the visiting Waterford Wildcats, struck out 11 and allowed only one run on five hits —as Valley vanquished the Wildcats 11-1 to capture its third sectional title in four years.

For the Indians and head coach Kayla Taulbee, they go back-to-back for sectional championships in Division IV —as 2021 marked the final season for longtime Valley coach Monte Spriggs.

Johnson has been the primary Valley pitcher for all three sectional crown campaigns, as Wednesday’s win over Waterford was called after six innings with the 10-run mercy rule.

The win raised the second-seeded Indians’ record to 15-8, as they faced the 10th-seeded and 7-12 Whiteoak Wildcats on Tuesday —in a Division IV district semifinal at the University of Rio Grande.

Johnson just walked one batter, as the Indians amounted all the runs they needed for the win in the bottom of the second inning.

They combined a wild pitch — with singles and runs scored by Ryleigh Weeks and Kendyl Christman.

Weeks — with singles in the second, fourth and fifth innings —helped pace the Indians at the plate, as Valley churned out 13 hits.

Of the Indians’ 11 runs, only two were earned off Waterford pitcher Lakyn Brooker.

Christman led Valley with four hits on four at-bats, as Addi Wolfe and Karsyn Davis delivered two hits apiece.

Five separate Waterford batters had a basehit off Johnson.

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