With the way Andrea Lyon can pitch, White Knoll softball coach April Farr figured that for her star – when at her best – one or two runs would be more than enough to get the job done.
The Timberwolves did their coach several better Saturday afternoon.
Conway managed only two hits against the White Knoll starter, striking out 11 times in a 6-0 loss in both teams’ Lower State 5A tournament opener.
One big inning would do the job for the Timberwolves, scoring five runs in the third on Tigers starter Neci Hemingway. All of the damage came with two outs.
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Ariel Johnson started the rally with a base hit, with a passed ball allowing her to advance to second. A Hannah Johnson flare to left would then drop for White Knoll, allowing it to take a 1-0 lead.
Ginna Leaphart would follow with a double to bring Johnson in, before she too would score on a three-base error by Conway. Madison Miller would then clear the bases, sending a Hemingway delivery over the right-center field fence for a two-run home run.
The Timberwolves would add another in the sixth to cap scoring.
While all the runs were nice, with Lyon on her game, it didn’t matter much how many White Knoll hung on the board … all it needed was one.
“She really builds on our offense,” Farr said. “When they score for her, she doesn’t really get rattled out there. She really remains calm, knowing she has a god defense behind her. And even if a team scores a run or two, long as we are swinging our bats she’s confident in her game and gets better and better as the game goes along.”
White Knoll will now take on the winner of Saturday’s game between Ashley Ridge and Wando, while Conway will host the loser of that contest on Monday.
According to Conway softball coach Mike Skipper, the situation of being in a must-win game is one his club is accustomed to.
“We’ve been in this situation before. We lost early in the other round,” he said. “ This is just one game, it doesn’t eliminate you. We’ll just come back ready and get back to work on Monday. Have to flush this one away, forget about it and move on to the next one.”
WP: Andrea Lyon. LP: Neci Hemingway. Top hitters: WK: Hannah Goodwin 3-3, 2B, 2 RBIs; Madison Miller 1-3, HR, 2 RBIs.