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Lady Horns strike early to shutout Plainview

Beau Bearden
bbearden@gannett.com

PLAINVIEW — It’s always tough when two squads battle twice in a short span because the second contest can sometimes be closer.

That was the case Thursday as the Lone Grove High School softball team didn’t have the same spark as earlier in the week, but still tallied a 6-0 shutout over Plainview.

“We couldn’t put things together today, but they helped us out with some mistakes early,” said Lady Horns head coach Jimmy Miller. “Their pitcher (Riley Grant) did a good job of keeping us off balance and it was one of those games. It’s always tough when we come over here to play, for whatever reason.”

Lone Grove didn’t waste any time out of the gate though.

Logan Ketchum’s two-run triple in the first inning put the Lady Horns out in front and they kept it rolling in the second. Emily Burns’ RBI single highlighted a three-run second, but Lone Grove only scored one more time down the stretch.

“We had chances and didn’t get in more runs later in the game,” Miller said. “That’s something we have to deal with. We have to condition and work through when we don’t play well.”

Plainview's Dalia Daniels swings at a pitch Thursday against Lone Grove. Daniels tallied one of the Lady Indians' two hits.

Lone Grove showed it was well-conditioned and it also helped that Emmy Guthrie kept the Lady Indians in check for most of the evening.

The senior hurler allowed just two hits and struck out 10 in six innings of work. Guthrie did walk five though, which was a difference from her no-hitter with one walk in Monday’s 10-0 win over Plainview. Guthrie added an RBI single in the fourth that helped push the lead to 6-0.

But the Lady Horns are in good shape, as they clinched the district title earlier in the week with a win over Blanchard.

“Our major goals are to go win the district, go win a regional and go to the state tournament and have a chance to win it there,” Miller said. “(A district championship) is just one of the steps to accomplish and I’m very, very proud of these girls and how they’ve grown. I’m pretty excited about playoff time.”

Meanwhile, the Lady Indians have pretty much locked up third place in district whether they win or lose Monday against Caddo.

Plainview’s mindset is on winning though and head coach Kenna Hunter feels like the Lady Indians could have been in this game — if not for mistakes.

“Defensively, we made like five, six or seven errors,” she said. “We didn’t do our part defensively and our pitcher (Grant) put us in a pretty good position to have a good game, to compete and win that. But it’s hard to win games when you don’t score.”

Plainview did finish with a pair of hits as Brooklyn Charnock singled in the fourth and Dalia Daniels tallied a base knock in the sixth.

The setback gave Lone Grove the season series, but there’s always a possibility the two squads meet again in the postseason.

“It would have been nice to beat them because they’ve only beat twice all year,” Hunter said. “For it to be a big rivalry game and give them their first district loss — even though they are district champs. But they’re a good team and maybe we’ll see them down the road.”