LUCASVILLE — Valley did their damage in the third inning and benefited from freshman Emilie Johnson’s dominant pitching performance to earn a 12-0 win over North Adams in a Division III sectional semifinal.
Tuesday’s win was the first postseason contest for much of the 2021 Lady Indians’ roster — one that features not a single senior and three juniors.
Valley earned the No. 18 seed in the Division III district seedings that were released last Sunday, improving to 8-10 overall while maintaining a 5-1 record in non-league games.
The Indians earned a home sectional semifinal contest against the No. 31 seeded Lady Green Devils and earned a trip to face No. 7 Crooksville in Friday’s sectional championship.
In a quick five innings of work, Johnson allowed just two base runners and was credited for the five-frame no-hitter. The two North Adams runners to reach did so via error and walk, but did not make it past second base and into scoring position.
Johnson struck out nine Lady Green Devil hitters and walked just one.
“Emilie pitched a great game. She’s been working on her off-speed pitch a lot more, working on it every day in practice,” Valley coach Monte Spriggs said. “Defense did a good job backing her up, too.”
At the plate, sophomore Madison Montgomery went a perfect 3-of-3 with a team-best three RBI.
Juniors Taylor Cunningham and Lexi Whitt each had two RBI on a hit apiece as Valley’s best inning at the plate came during their 11-run third.
The Lady Indians nearly batted around in the third by sending 16 hitters to the dish. Coach Monte Spriggs said afterwards their success in the third was a result of their patience.
“Took us a couple of innings to get used to the difference in speed. We set back and started driving the ball in the third and scored some runs because of it,” Spriggs. “Drove the ball really well once they settled down and started seeing it.”
Valley’s road trip to Perry County to face the higher-seeded Lady Ceramics is a long one, but one they feel they’re prepared for after a full season competing in the traditionally strong SOC II.
A win this weekend would put the Lady Indians in the Division III district semis.
“Emilie will have to throw well again and we’ll have to hit the well. Crooksville’s a good team with a good number of wins, play in a league similar to our SOC,” Spriggs said. “It really helps you playing in our league when it comes to tournament time. You’re seeing the better teams in the area and that shows you how good you have to be to win this time of year.”
North Adams: 0 0 0 0 0 — 0 0 5
Valley: 1 0 11 0 X — 12 11 1
W: Johnson (V), L: Tumbleson (L)
Emilie Johnson 2-3, 2R, BB
Taylor Cunningham 1-3, 2R, 2RBI
Lexi Whitt 1-3, 2R, 2RBI
Addalyn Conaway 1-3, 2R, RBI
Madison Montgomery 3-3, 3RBI, R
Baylee Yarnell 1-2, R
Kelsey Lebrun 0-3
Karsyn Davis 1-3, R, RBI
Latishia Manchester 1-3, R, RBI
Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930, by email at [email protected], or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT © 2021 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved