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Lady Indians hold off Blanchard for district win

Beau Bearden
bbearden@gannett.com

PLAINVIEW – It appeared the Plainview High School softball team would be in a pitcher’s duel after neither squad could scratch across a run during the first two innings. However, that quickly changed as the Lady Indians found a late drive Thursday to hold off Blanchard 8-7 for a district victory.

“We just started swinging at better pitches and we started figuring out what their pitcher was doing,” said Plainview head coach Kenna Hunter. “We started hitting. It was fun, really fun.”

But the ending was more of an edge-of-your-seat moment as Blanchard had the game-tying runner at second with one out.

That was no problem for Brooklyn Charnock.

The Lady Indians freshman entered the game in relief and only allowed one hit and struck out the final two batters to clinch the victory. But Charnock shouldn't get all the credit as starter Riley Grant pitched a gem with 11 strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings.

Grant had no problem giving up the ball to her teammate though.

“I knew (Charnock) would go in there and throw strikes and get them out,” Grant said. “This was a very big win for us since it was district.”

Plainview's Brooklyn Charnock connects on a two-run double in the fourth inning. Charnock also struck out the final two batters to clinch an 8-7 win over Blanchard.

Charnock was also instrumental at the plate with a two-run double in the fourth inning to give Plainview its first lead of the game. Izzy Norton later connected on an RBI single in the fifth for a 3-1 advantage.

It appeared the momentum had shifted in the Lady Indians’ favor, but Blanchard wasn’t waving the white flag yet. The Lady Lions managed to scratch across a pair of runs in the sixth to knot it up 3-3 before Plainview exploded for five runs in the fifth.

Taryn Martin started the big inning with a single and three batters later, Grant stepped up to the plate with the bases loaded and a fielder’s choice scored a run on a close call at home plate.

Blanchard’s head coach and its fans didn’t like the call, but the emotions ended up proving costly as the Lady Indians kept their foot on the pedal when Dalia Daniels’ two-run single scored a pair of runs for a 6-3 advantage.

Plainview wasn’t done yet though, tacking on two more insurance runs to be in the driver’s seat entering the top of the seventh, where they held off a late Blanchard rally for a win.

“We did our part at the plate today and that was the difference in the ball game,” Hunter said. “We didn’t do that the other day when we played them. That was huge. You have to score runs to win.”

Martin and Daniels led the way as the duo each finished with two hits and two RBIs. Norton also drove in two runs, while Brinkley Campbell went 2-for-3 with an RBI.

The Lady Indians are back in action at 5 p.m. Monday, Sept. 21 at Lone Grove and time is running out in the regular season with bi-district set for Oct. 1-2.

“It’s getting down to the wire, for sure,” Hunter said. “We have to get all the district wins that we can these next few weeks to see where we sit for bi-district and hopefully regionals, and then go from there.”