October 12, 2006

Walk-Off Homerun Ends Lady Tigersí Softball Season in District Opener

After battling back to erase an early deficit, the Scotland County softball team saw its season closed out in impressive fashion as Schuyler Countyís Tara Verkuilen capped off a 13-run Rams rally with a walk-off three run home run that cleared the left field fence at SCR-I Field.

The blast ended the District #12 first round contest by the 10-run rule as Schuyler County advanced to the semi-finals with a 17-7 win.

Scotland County ran itself out of a bases-loaded situation in the first inning. With one out Tara Matlock reached on an infield single. After Deidra Dochterman walked, Valerie Oldham delivered a single to fill the bases. But a base running mistake cost SCR-I a shot at a big inning.

The Rams jumped out to a 4-0 lead off Lady Tigers starter Kaela Cook in the first inning. An SCR-I fielding miscue opened the door for the big inning. The big blow was a bases-loaded single by Margie Parsons. Karra Small relieved Cook to get the final out of the first frame.

The Lady Tigers clawed back into striking distance in the second inning. With one out, Lacey Jack singled off Schuyler County starter Alysa Greenstreet. Andrea Shelley singled and Kirsten Johnston walked to load the bases. Matlock delivered a base knock to drive in a pair of runs to cut the deficit to 4-2.

Small kept the Lady Ramsí offense in check over the next three frames, allowing the SCR-I bats to retake the lead.

Oldham walked to start the third and Kellyn Wickert drove her home with a double. A base knock by Melissa Cotton knotted the score at 4-4.

The Lady Tigers appeared to take charge of the contest in the top of the fifth inning. With two outs, Jack singled to start the rally. A walk to Cotton was followed by Shelleyís third hit of the contest. Johnston drove all three runners home with a double to put Scotland County on top 7-4.

Cook reentered the contest in the fifth inning and the Ramsí bats came back to life. Schuyler County rapped out nine hits and took advantage of a couple base on balls and two costly errors to blow the game open with a 10-run inning to retake the 14-7 advantage.

Scotland County again left the bases loaded in the sixth inning before Verkuilem ended the game with the home run heroics.

In other opening round action, it was Clark County dispatching Milan 4-0. The Indians advanced to play defending state champions Highland while the Rams win earned the team the right to face top seeded Putnam County.

The Midgets (24-1) went on to earn the teamís 19th straight district title by dispatching Clark County before defeating Highland (21-3) by a final score of 5-1. Putnam County advances to the state playoffs to take on Palmyra, the Class 2 District #11 champions.

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