PORTSMOUTH — Clay High School’s Carol Vice Field has seen its host Lady Panthers secure two key wins over Division IV opponents so far this week.
They’ll go for another on Thursday.
In defeating visiting Symmes Valley and South Webster 8-4 and 3-2 on Monday and Tuesday, respectively, Clay indeed kept itself alive in their defense of the SOC I league championship, and also helps their positioning for the upcoming Division IV district seeding.
In the win over the Lady Vikings, Clay’s hitting combined for 11 hits and scored four first inning runs to take an early advantage.
Their defense did just enough to get the win, including a game-ending double play that spoiled a potential Symmes Valley seventh inning rally.
Although they committed three errors in the field on Monday, they sured things up a day later and committed none in their narrow victory over the Lady Jeeps.
Clay (16-4, 9-1 SOC I) also held South Webster’s offense scoreless after their two-run first inning, giving up a total of four hits.
An RBI sac fly by Shae Edgington in the second inning gave Clay its’ first run against the Lady Jeeps, before Jordyn Mathias would tie things up with a sac fly RBI of her own in the fifth.
Mathias finished 2-of-2 at the plate and also had the go-ahead RBI in the sixth, giving the Lady Panthers a win against a strong D4 opponent.
Both wins on the mound were credited to junior Preslee Lutz who raised her record to 15-4 in two complete game efforts.
Heading into Thursday’s meeting with nearby rival Notre Dame on their home field, Lady Panthers coach Jason Gearhart commented how important his team’s defense would be if they hope to hand the unbeaten Lady Titans their first loss.
“Main key is defense, and keep swinging,” Gearhart said. “We’ve been taking a lot of batting practice to try and match what Notre Dame has. Keep suring up our defense, run the bases better. We’ve got to keep improving and plugging away at everything we do, but it all comes back to defense.”
In their first meeting on April 19, Notre Dame (13-0, 8-0 SOC I) won easily 15-0 in five innings — a game in which Clay committed eight errors in the field and had one hit off ND’s Gwen Sparks.
If defense wins championships, then Clay will need its defense on Thursday to remain in contention for another league championship.
Symmes Valley: 0 0 2 0 2 0 0 — 4 7 3
Clay: 4 0 2 2 0 0 X — 8 11 3
W: Lutz (C), L: Mart (SV)
Lutz 7IP, 8Ks, 0BB, 3ER
Kat Cochran 1-3, R
Shae Edgington 0-2, R
Megan Bazler 3-4, 2B, 3R, RBI, SB
Shaley Munion 2-3, R, 3RBI
Preslee Lutz 2-3, R, RBI
Kailey Ware 1-3, R, 2B
Jordyn Mathias 1-3, 3B, 2RBI
McKenzie Loper 1-3, SB
South Webster: 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 — 2 4 2
Clay: 0 1 0 0 1 1 X — 3 5 0
W: Lutz (C), L: Messer (SW)
Messer 6IP, 2K, 2BB, 3ER
Lutz 7IP, 6Ks, 4BB, 2ER
Skylar Zimmerman 0-2, 2BB, R
Emma Bailey 1-2, R
Bella Claxon 1-3, 2RBI
Rylee McGraw 1-3, 2B, SB
Lexie Smith 1-1
Shae Edgington 0-2, RBI sac fly
Shaley Munion 1-3, R
Preslee Lutz 0-2, 2BB, R
Jordyn Mathias 2-2, 2RBI, RBI sac fly
Katie Fife 1-3, R
McKenzie Loper 1-3
Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT © 2021 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved