Clay edges Valley in home opener


By Jacob Smith - [email protected]



Clay coach Jason Gearhart talks to his team during Tuesday’s non-league meeting between the Lady Panthers and Valley.

Clay coach Jason Gearhart talks to his team during Tuesday’s non-league meeting between the Lady Panthers and Valley.


Jacob Smith | Daily Times

Clay senior Preslee Lutz (14) delivers a pitch during the Lady Panthers’ win over Valley at Carol Vice Field.


Jacob Smith | Daily Times

Clay sophomore Shea Edgington (24) stands at second base after one of her two doubles during the Lady Panthers’ 13-8 win over Valley at Carol Vice Field.


Jacob Smith | Daily Times

PORTSMOUTH — Clay and visiting Valley traded scores throughout Tuesday’s non-league contest at Carol Vice Memorial Softball Field.

In their final two innings at the plate, the Lady Panthers (2-0) scored seven runs to break a 6-6 tie through 4.5 innings — winning their second game in two days to start the 2022 softball season.

Valley and Clay were tied twice after first pitch — 4-4 through three and 6-6 through four-and-a-half innings.

Clay sophomore Shea Edgington led the Lady Panthers with a team-high three hits from her leadoff position.

Senior Jacy Gearhart and junior Morgan McCoy had two hits apiece for the Lady Panthers.

Eight different Lady Panthers collected an RBI in the five-run 13-8 win.

“We’ve been practicing hitting a lot, which every team does,” Clay coach Jason Gearhart said, after the game. “Our AD set us up with some top-notch scrimmages that really helped prepare us. Every pitcher we’ve seen made us ready for this game and the season.”

Fielding mishaps plagued both teams, as Valley committed seven errors while Clay had five.

The Lady Indians actually outhit the Lady Panthers 13-10.

Junior Madison Montgomery led Valley with a team-high three hits, including two doubles and a RBI.

Valley’s 1-2-3 hitters — sophomore Emilie Johnson, senior Taylor Cunningham, and sophomore Karsyn Davis — each collected two hits apiece.

Lady Panthers senior Preslee Lutz was the winning pitcher, giving up four earned runs and striking out six in a complete-game effort.

Johnson was the losing pitcher for Valley, despite having allowed just one earned run in 2.2 innings pitched.

Clay overcame a 4-1 deficit through 2.5 innings — in a game that ultimately featured three lead changes.

“Just shows how hard we’ve been working. Our girls have been spot on in practice and the preparation,” Gearhart said. “They never quit. I’ve had great teams before, this team is a group that fights.”

Valley hosted Minford (Southern Ohio Conference Division II) in its home opener on Wednesday, before traveling to South Webster on Friday.

The Lady Panthers prepared for a busy week, opening SOC I play at New Boston on Wednesday.

“New Boston tomorrow, Jackson on Thursday and Green on Friday in an important league game. Just have to keep going — and protect Preslee as much as we can.”

***

BOX SCORE

Valley 0 2 2 1 1 2 0 — 8 13 7

Clay 1 0 3 2 4 3 X — 13 10 5

Valley hitting

Emilie Johnson 2-4, R

Taylor Cunningham 2-3, R, SB

Karsyn Davis 2-4, 2R, RBI

Addalyn Conaway 1-4, 2R

Madison Montgomery 3-4, 2(2B), R, RBI

Lexie Whitt 1-4

Braxtyn Holbrook 1-3, R, 2SB

Camry Carpenter 0-4

Olivia Hilton 1-4, 2RBI

Clay hitting

Shea Edgington 3-5, 2(2B), 3R, RBI

Jacy Gearhart 2-4, 2B, 2R, RBI

Jordyn Mathias 0-2, RBI

Preslee Lutz 1-4, 2R

Morgan McCoy 2-4, R, RBI

Kyleigh Oliver 1-3, R, RBI

Kailey Ware 0-3, 2R, RBI

Katie Fife 1-4, 2B, 2R, 2RBI

Sarah Cassidy 0-4, RBI

Pitching

Preslee Lutz (C) 7IP, 6K, 1BB, 4ER (W)

Emilie Johnson (V) 2.2 IP, 4K, 0BB, 1ER (L)

Camry Carpenter (V) 3.1IP, 2K, BB, 2ER

Clay coach Jason Gearhart talks to his team during Tuesday’s non-league meeting between the Lady Panthers and Valley.
https://www.portsmouth-dailytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/28/2022/03/web1_Clay-_-valley-pics-1.jpgClay coach Jason Gearhart talks to his team during Tuesday’s non-league meeting between the Lady Panthers and Valley. Jacob Smith | Daily Times

Clay senior Preslee Lutz (14) delivers a pitch during the Lady Panthers’ win over Valley at Carol Vice Field.
https://www.portsmouth-dailytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/28/2022/03/web1_Preslee-Lutz-_-Clay-Valley-1.jpgClay senior Preslee Lutz (14) delivers a pitch during the Lady Panthers’ win over Valley at Carol Vice Field. Jacob Smith | Daily Times

Clay sophomore Shea Edgington (24) stands at second base after one of her two doubles during the Lady Panthers’ 13-8 win over Valley at Carol Vice Field.
https://www.portsmouth-dailytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/28/2022/03/web1_Shea-Edgington-_Clay-valley-1.jpgClay sophomore Shea Edgington (24) stands at second base after one of her two doubles during the Lady Panthers’ 13-8 win over Valley at Carol Vice Field. Jacob Smith | Daily Times

By Jacob Smith

[email protected]

Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 370-0713 ext. 1930, by email at [email protected], or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT © 2022 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved

Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 370-0713 ext. 1930, by email at [email protected], or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT © 2022 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved