INDIANAPOLIS — Clay City closed its high school softball season Tuesday night with the best record ever for the program at 21-9.
The Eels wanted to add another win, the school’s first regional title, but they came up short.
Indianapolis Lutheran spoiled the Eels’ dreams with a 2-0 decision in the regional at Lutheran’s field. The 16-10 Saints, state tournament runners-up last year, will play Saturday in the North Daviess Semistate.
In a battle between two contact pitchers and error-free defenses, Lutheran scored the only runs of the game in the fifth inning. The Saints left eight runners on base and the Eels four.
“We played well. We just didn’t get those timely hits. We looked like [we were] a little bit slow [compared] to what we were the weekend before, but that happens,” Clay City coach Jason Sinders said.
Clay City’s Whitney Jeffers and Lutheran’s Anna Phillippe pitched to a scoreless tie through four innings.
This game came down to two batters hit by pitch and a questionable call at home plate.
Jeffers hit Lutheran’s No. 9 hitter Breanna Schultz to open the fifth. Schultz was bunted to second by Reid Olson, whose first foot was clearly out of batter’s box when she bunted the ball. Sinders questioned the umpire, but did not get the call he wanted.
Jeffers hit Lutheran’s Morgan Keefer with a pitch, putting runners on first and third. Keefer stole second with Jonni Nowakoski, the No. 3 hitter, at bat. Nowakoski then hit a slow grounder back to Jeffers, but Schultz slid under the tag at home and Keefer scored the second run on a single by Baylea Suiters.
“I thought our girls played hard. I never felt like they gave up. They kept making defensive plays and we just kept pushing forward and pushing forward. We just didn’t play as well as they did. They got the breaks and they came out on top,” Sinders said.
The Eels’ best shot at scoring came in the third inning when Alexis Price led off with a double. Pinch-runner Cassie Souder was thrown out on third after a missed sign.
Price accounted for two of Clay City’s three hits and the only extra-base hit of the night with a double. Maria Walton had a single for the Eels’ third hit.
“I know when [Price is] smiling and she’s swinging, something is going to happen,” Sinders said.
The loss ended the careers of seniors Brianna Price and Madison Booe.
Indpls. Lutheran 2, Clay City 0
CLAY CITY (AB-R-H-RBI) — B.Price 3b 2-0-0-0, Kittle cf 3-0-0-0, Yocom 2b 3-0-0-0, Allender rf 3-0-0-0, Walton ss 2-0-1-0, Jeffers p 1-0-0-0, M.Booe ph 1-0-0-0, A.Price 1b 3-0-2-0, Souder pr 0-0-0-0, Cottrell c 2-0-0-0, Dyer dp 2-0-0-0, Villain lf-flx 0-0-0-0. TOTALS 22-0-3-0.
INDIANAPOLIS LUTHERAN (AB-R-H-RBI) — Olson lf 3-0-1-0, Keefer 2b 0-1-0-0, Nowakowski cf 3-0-0-1, Carter 3b 2-0-0-0, Suiters ss 3-0-1-1, Phillippe p 2-0-1-0, Arnold c 3-0-1-0, Steeb 1b 3-0-1-0, Wirick pr 0-0-0-0, Schultz dp 2-1-0-0, Goff rf-flx 0-0-0-0. TOTALS 21-2-5-2.
Clay City 000 000 0 — 0
Indianapolis Lutheran 000 020 x — 2
LOB — CC 4, IL 8. 2B — A.Price. SB — Olson, Keefer, Schultz. CS — Walton. SH — Jeffers, Keefer.
Clay City IP H R ER BB SO
Jeffers(L) 6 5 2 2 2 3
Indpls. Lutheran IP H R ER BB SO
Phillippe (W) 7 3 0 0 0 5
HBP — by Jeffers (Keefer, Phillippe, Schultz), by Phillippe (B.Price).
Next — Indianapolis Lutheran (16-10) plays in the Class A Semistate on Saturday at North Daviess. Clay City finished 21-9.