Lady Horns find late stride to run rule Byng
LONE GROVE – Sometimes all it takes is one base hit and the momentum starts rolling in one squad’s favor.
It may have taken some time for it to happen Tuesday, but the Lone Grove High School softball team found its groove in the sixth inning to beat Byng 11-1 at Glenn Wendt Field.
“It’s pretty nice when we all work together, get hits and just kind of all flow together,” Lone Grove’s Noa Dodson said. “When one base hit gets down, then an error gets made, we just all kind of feed off of that energy. We just work together and keep it going.”
That was exactly the situation in the sixth inning as Emmy Guthrie’s one-out base knock started a series of events that turned a 4-1 lead into a 10-run advantage.
But it was surprising that the Lady Horns only needed two base hits in the frame to tally the victory. Byng didn’t do itself any favors, hitting a few batters and committing errors that ended the game early.
“We didn’t really have our best effort today, but we found a way to piece together some runs there in the sixth and get the run-rule (win),” said Lady Horns head coach Jimmy Miller. “We’re fortunate to not play well and still be able to go play like that.”
Lone Grove did manage to outhit Byng by a 9-3 advantage, but most of those were spread throughout the game. Malea McMurtrey and Dodson led the way with two hits and two RBIs apiece.
Dodson, however, tallied the lone extra-base hit with a two-run double in the third inning that gave the Lady Horns a 3-0 advantage.
“Our coaches have been throwing us a lot of changeups to get ready for (Byng),” Dodson said. “In the last game we played against them, they threw a lot of changeups. So I was kind of ready and prepared for the changeups to come.”
Logan Ketchum was also prepared as she went 2-for-3 and drove in a run, while Lexi Meadows and Mattie Roj each tallied a base knock.
“We’re blessed – our lineup is pretty good all the way through,” Miller said. “Usually we’re going to have pieces of the lineup do well. We had a quite a few that didn’t have very good at-bats today, but we’re going to have those days. Luckily, we pulled through there in the end. I’m very proud of this bunch, the way they work and how they get after it. I’m excited for what the season holds.”
Lone Grove should be in good shape though, especially with Guthrie in the circle. The senior allowed just one earned run on three hits with 13 strikeouts in six innings of work.
But this game is just one part of the Lady Horns’ bigger journey that leads to the playoffs.
“We have a goal in the end,” Miller said. “We have to get ready for playoff time and those kinds of things. We have to get ready to play at that point, so that’s where it is. And they know that focus because they’ve been to the state tournament and didn’t have the inning they wanted to. So they know what that goal is, too.”