CLYDE - The hits just keep coming for Clay.
The Eagles rolled to a 7-1 victory over Northview after pounding out nine hits in a Division I regional semifinal Friday at Clyde's Joe Wilson Field.
"We were a little flat in the beginning, I think, offensively, and that's probably because we haven't played in [eight days]," Clay coach Brenda Radabaugh said. "But we've been practicing well and they've been working hard, so I wasn't really worried about that. I knew the bats would come alive once they got the timing down."
Indeed, in their second time through the lineup, the Eagles jumped all over Northview starter Ali Sayre with three runs in the top of the fourth inning.
Freshman Kim Crawford led off the frame with a double to left, and junior Eryn Simon brought her home on a single up the middle. Junior Sarah Stibaner followed with a single to left that plated Simon. After senior Lindsey Wise kept the rally going with an infield single, senior Erin Screptock capped the scoring with an RBI groundout to third base that scored pinch runner Ashley Cousino.
The Eagles (24-5) chased Sayre in the sixth when they brought home another run on Wise's single to center that scored Simon, who reached on a leadoff walk.
Clay tacked on three insurance runs in the seventh off Northview reliever Aly Matthews. Stibaner and Wise each came through with their second RBIs of the game, while senior Monica Reeves added an RBI single to right.
"In the first couple innings, we were kind of rusty," Simon said. "We were not getting anyone on, and then finally in the fourth inning, we came through and got some hits and we just kept it going."
Not to be outdone, Clay
junior right-hander Kasey Graham looked poised to toss a perfect game before senior Katelyn Dobson reached on an infield single with one out in the seventh.
On the first pitch of her at-bat, Dobson hit a weak comebacker to the left at Graham, who just barely got a glove on it. As the ball trickled away from her, Simon picked up the ball and reeled off a strong throw to first, but couldn't get Dobson in time.
Two batters later, Matthews tagged a double off the wall in left that plated Dobson.
The Wildcats (11-17) couldn't create any more offense, however, as Graham retired the next batter to end it.
"If we got two or three [runs], I thought that'd be enough today," Northview coach Rick Schneider said.
"We got sloppy in one inning, and it made it really tough then because Kasey is a good pitcher. I thought Ali Sayre pitched a good game [too]. She just started getting a little too much of the plate, and Simon and Stibaner are great hitters back-to-back."
Clay next takes on Elyria at noon today here in a regional final.
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