LUCASVILLE — All of the sudden, the young Valley Indians turned Friday’s pitcher’s duel against Northwest into a mercy-rule runaway.
That’s because the Indians, trailing 1-0 after Northwest’s initial at-bat, erupted for all 11 of their runs over the final two innings — three in the fourth and eight in the fifth to capture an 11-1 Southern Ohio Conference Division II softball victory.
With the win, Valley evened its record to 2-1 — and to 1-1 in the SOC II.
The loss left Northwest with a 2-3 mark, and a 2-1 conference record.
The contest was called following the fifth inning with the 10-run mercy rule.
The Mohawks muscled a run across in the opening inning — when Hayley Hawes singled and scored and Lexi Throckmorton reached on an error.
From there, though, Valley pitcher Emilee Johnson just allowed one baserunner —Taylor Butler on a two-out single in the fourth inning.
Johnson struck out seven Mohawks, and retired 15 of the final 16 batters she faced —including 11 consecutive from the first through the fourth.
Meanwhile, the Indians turned the tide on Throckmorton and the Mohawks — overcoming six total strikeouts and only two baserunners through the first two innings.
One of those was a Taylor Cunningham walk in the first, as Aaralyn Lore and Johnson started the hit barrage with back-to-back singles in the third.
In the fourth, Madison Montgomery singled, Anna-Marie Elliott walked, Baylee Yarnell reached on a sacrifice bunt, Lore singled to score Elliott, and finally Johnson helped her cause with a two-run double to cross both Yarnell and Lore.
In the fifth, Lexi Whitt singled to lead off, Karsyn Davis reached on an unsuccessful fielder’s choice, Montgomery scored Whitt with a single, Yarnell walked, and Lore singled to score two more runs before Johnson singled to score another.
Cunningham then was hit by a pitch and Whitt had yet another single —this one which scored two runs.
The game ended with Davis getting hit a by pitch, which brought the 11th and final run home.