Ladybirds lose in sectional semifinals
In the semifinals of the Class A Clay City softball sectional on Tuesday, the host Eels scored seven runs in the top of the seventh inning and retired North Central 1-2-3 in the bottom of the frame as Clay City defeated the defending Class A state runner-up 13-12.
This came one-half inning after North Central, who finished 16-9, scored seven runs in the bottom of the sixth to take a 12-6 lead to the seventh.
North Central, who rallied to defeat Clay City 6-4 during their Southwestern Indiana Athletic Conference meeting in the regular season, trailed 6-5 going to the sixth.
North Central senior third baseman Morgan Manning doubled in Jocelyn Cox, who reached on an error to start the inning.
Then senior pitcher Rachel Shroyer, who was unable to finish the game inside the circle, hit a two-run home run as North Central went ahead 8-6.
Arika Enochs and Hailey Salyer then singled and Brooklin Klitzing drew a walk to load the bases.
Enochs scored on a wild pitch before Moody hit a three-run homer to put the Ladybirds comfortably ahead by six runs.
But Clay City started its half of the seventh with a two-run single by freshman Demi Wolfe to cut the deficit to 12-8.
Hailey Hofmann then singled and scored on the play as North Central made multiple errors as Clay City trimmed the deficit to 12-9.
Freshman Sophie Moshos then got a base hit and Kaylee Miller reached on a infield single to load the bases.
After Moody, who came into pitch in relief of Shroyer got the second out, Charly Koehler then drove in a run with a base hit followed up by a three-run double by Elyssa Secrest, putting the Lady Eels ahead by one run heading to the bottom of the seventh.
For the only time, Clay City retired North Central in order to end the game.
North Central finished with 14 hits. Manning drove in a run with a sacrifice fly then Shroyer had an RBI double and Salyer had an RBI double as North Central led 5-1 after the first.
The Ladybirds did not score in four straight innings and five of the final six.
Clay City finished with five errors and North Central had four as both teams were sloppy in the field.
Other hits for the Ladybirds included a double by Klitzing, a single by Jocelyn Cox and an infield hit by Manning and another safety by Salyer.
Shroyer allowed 12 runs and 14 hits in her 6 1/3 innings of work. Moody allowed two hits and one run in her 2/3 innings of relief.
Clay City will meet the winner of Shakamak vs. Eminence at 5:30 p.m. today for the sectional title.
Clay City Sectional 57
Clay City 110 400 7 — 13 16 5
North Central 500 007 0 — 12 14 4
W — Hofmann. L — Moody. 2B — Walton (C), Harrison (C), Koehler (C), Manning (N), Shroyer (N), Klitzing (N). 3B — Moody (N). HR — Shroyer (N), Moody (N).