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Lady Eagles slug Hornets, win third title

Lady Eagles slug Hornets, win third title
Lady Eagles slug Hornets, win third title
Lady Eagle senior Leeann Wolfe scores the game's final run as she slides past Henryville's catcher in the bottom of the sixth inning.

Henryville’s softball team dared to put up a fight against host Lanesville in the Class 1A sectional final last Wednesday evening, but the Lady Hornets simply wound up as a squashed bug on the windshield of the Purple and White Express.
Lanesville, which was a state finalist last season and is ranked 11th in Class 1A, rallied from deficits of 1-0 and 3-1 to knock off the visitors, 6-3, to win its third straight sectional championship.
The Lady Eagles (13-9) take on N.E. Dubois (18-8) in the opening game of the Lanesville Regional on Saturday at 11 a.m. The other semifinal pits Jac-Cen-Del (10-10) against Hauser (7-9).
The regional final is at 7 p.m.
‘Henryville is so much better, and they about got us last year, so I told my girls they were going to have to bring their ‘A’ game. They got some hits against us and stuff, but we came through with the hits when we needed to,’ Lanesville coach Kayla Straub said.
After the game was completed, Straub could be seen wiping tears from her eyes. The previous two sectional victories didn’t bring quite as much emotion.
‘This one is a little different. Our record isn’t as good, but as long as we learn from each game, and play well, I’m okay with whatever the outcome is,’ Straub said. ‘Three in a row is something that not a lot of coaches of teams get to do. A lot of teams have never won just one sectional, and to win three in a row was overwhelming.’
The championship battle appeared to get off on the wrong foot for the Lady Eagles as senior pitcher Allison Horton plunked Henryville’s leadoff batter, Kelsey Pierce, with the first pitch of the game.
Pierce stole second, and on the pick-off attempt, the ball bounced into center field, allowing Pierce to come around to score for a 1-0 lead.
Lanesville bounced back in the bottom of the inning when its own leadoff batter, Allison Wolfe, drew a walk. She moved to second on a ground out by Erin Dorgay and scored on an error.
Neither club scored in the second frame, but both added two apiece in the third.
Henryville’s Pierce walked and stole second before moving to third on a ground out. Amanda Cleveland, who was her team’s hero in the semifinal win over South Central, came through with a double to deep left field to score her teammate. She stole third, and scored when the pickoff throw sailed into left field.
Lanesville’s bats came alive in its half of the inning.
With one out, Beth Glomb singled and moved to third on an error that allowed Wolfe to reach base. Dorgay smashed one to left to score both teammates. Beth Dorgay and Allison Horton each singled to load the bases, but Henryville pitcher Kelly Byrne buckled down and got out of the inning with the score tied, 3-3.
Over the final three innings, Lanesville’s Horton allowed only three base runners to reach safely. Meanwhile, her team’s offense continued to roll.
Ashley Simler led off the fourth with a single and made it to third on a base knock by Leeann Wolfe. A flyout to second by Glomb scored Simler to give the Lady Eagles what proved to be the game-winning run.
For added measure, Lanesville put up two more scores in the bottom of the sixth, thanks to a Henryville miscue.
Simler and Leeann Wolfe both singled, then Glomb reached on a two-base error that scored the two runs. The affair nearly got out of hand as Lanesville went on to load the bases, but Byrne escaped with her team down three.
The Lady Hornets silenced the home crowd by getting its first two batters ‘ Booklyn Guthrie and Staphanie Page ‘ on base. A sacrifice bunt by Vanessa White put the runners at second and third with one out and brought the potential tying run to the plate.
Horton, who leads the state in most strikeouts per game, punched out Lindsey Lafever and got Katie Porter to ground out to third to end the game.
‘When they got the two hits, I went out there and told them not to worry about the run. Just make sure we get at least one out,’ Straub said. ‘Just like they’ve done all year, they listened and got it done.’
As for this weekend’s big battle, Lanesville’s coach says her team will hit, play defense and let the chips fall where they may.
‘We have an idea of what they’ll be like,’ Straub said. ‘Their pitcher may be a little bit better than most of the teams we see, so that’s always a factor.’
Correction ‘ In last week’s story about the sectional opening games, Henryville’s opening round win over South was not the first sectional victory for the program. The Lady Hornets not only won a game in the 1989-90 season, but won the sectional that year as well.