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While it was just a summer scrimmage between a pair of neighboring schools, the first official return of a sporting event in Scotland County brought out a sizeable crowd to the Scotland County R-I softball field on June 25th as the Scotland and Schuyler County high school softball programs played a double header.
Fans had to deal with a warm evening, and were without concession services, but were still treated to a junior varsity opener followed by the varsity contest that marked the first high school sports contest in the past three months.
Scotland County threatened early, as Hannah Feeney led off with a base hit. However she was thrown out stealing and SCR-I was blanked in the bottom of the first.
Starting pitcher Kina Billings set the side down in order to open the game with three strikeouts.
She battled some control issues that allowed Schuyler to take a 1-0 lead.
The Lady Tigers rallied to take a 2-1 lead courtesy of a pair of walks and a Schuyler County error.
Morgan Blessing made a running catch in center field to help maintain the SCR-I lead.
Schuyler County was able to tie the game up at 2-2 in the fourth off of reliever Hannah Anders.
SCR-I lost a chance to pull ahead when Kylee Stott was picked off of second base. Emiley Dial followed with a double down the third base line that would have put SCR-I up 3-2.
That left the door open for Schuyler County to tack on a run late and hold on for the 3-2 victory.
New head coach Lucas Riley showcased both of his soon to be sophomore pitchers, in Billings and Anders, who will be taking over for Kaitlyn McMinn. He will be spending the summer trying to establish a new catcher to take over for graduate Katie Feeney, who had handled the duties the past two seasons. Jansen Alexander, who will be a senior, handled the back-up duties last year while also playing some first base. Baileigh Phillips, who will be a junior, has started working at the position this summer, and shows some promise, giving Lucas some options.
Kylee Stott looked at home at shortstop, making a fine diving grab in the gap on what was a solid defensive night for SCR-I. She started in centerfield last season, while Billings handled shortstop the majority of the time when she wasn’t pitching.
Blessing made a pair of nice grabs in centerfield for SCR-I, further reinforcing the defensive changes Lucas is looking at in preparation for the 2021 season.
New Scotland County R-I softball head coach Riley Lucas greats Kina Billings with a high five as she and new battery mate Baileigh Phillips head to the dugout after a successful first inning as softball returned to SCR-I on June 25th.
Hannah Feeney slides into second base on the stolen base attempt in the first inning of the June 25th varsity summer softball scrimmage versus Schuyler County.