LONE GROVE — The only thing that Lone Grove senior shortstop Kacee Dellis knew that she could do when she hit a ground ball to Plainview junior third baseman Halee Womack was to run.
Womack fielded the ball and her throw was wide of the outstretched arm of senior first baseman McKenzie Williams and landed in foul territory in right field. Dellis advanced all the way to third base on the play and two runs scored.
Dellis’ strike of the ball was the timely play the Lady Horns needed to finally break a scoreless tie and support an complete-game shutout from freshman pitcher Cassidy Baughman in a 4-0 victory at Glenn Wendt Field on Monday afternoon.
“I knew that it hit and so I tried to run it out,” Dellis said. “I didn’t expect a bad throw. I just tried to beat it out. I was trying to move the runners. I was trying to get there as fast as I could.”
Baughman continues to mature in the circle.
The game plan for Lone Grove called for Baughman to work around Lady Indians power hitters Sami Skelly and Rylee Keith. Baughman never gave Skelly and Keith anything to hit. Skelly and Keith drew a walk in each at-bat.
Plainview didn't capitalize when Skelly and Keith were on base.
“We talked about that,” Plainview coach Tim Wade said. “That was something that we were well aware of. It’s part of the game. When you see that, you’ve got to utilize it and make good use out of it. That’s the key, getting runners on base and getting timely hits and making plays.”
Plainview certainly had its chances.
Hanna Beth Matherly came inches short of delivering an early blow to Lone Grove.
With two outs and two runners on base in the top of the first, she hit a hard line drive that was caught by Lady Horns junior second baseman Maci McMurtrey.
McMurtrey came up with another defensive gem in the fourth. She dove forward to catch a fly ball off the bat of Brooklyn Storts and then had the presence of mind to throw to Amy Hicks to double off Matherly at first base. Matherly had reached base via a lead-off walk.
“They made great plays, and what we want to do is our pitcher to get us ground balls and fly balls, and the outcome was good for us,” Lone Grove coach Jimmy Miller said. “We placed the ball in timely times and got a little bit of help and scored a few runs.”
Dellis was proud of Baughman for not letting as many balls as she threw Monday to get to her head.
“Going from 2-0 to 3-2 and working out of it with a strikeout it means that she can keep herself picked up, and she knows that she can work out of it,” Dellis said. “She has gotten way better. She’s working on staying relaxed and not overthinking what she is doing.”
Matherly threw with high velocity Monday and her pitching gave Plainview a chance to come out on top of its rival.
The defense aided her cause until the fifth.
After Adara Finnerty led off with a walk, Brooklyn Mason hit a fly ball that traveled a few further than what center-fielder Jenna Jennings had initially anticipated, dropping behind her for a hit.
That set the stage for Dellis whose ground ball hit to Womack drove in the game’s first two runs. Shelby Stevenson followed with an RBI double that bounced off the edge of the glove of Plainview right-fielder Leah Selensky for a 3-0 Lone Grove lead.
In the sixth, Taleigh Nail blasted a solo home run to lead off the frame.