Knights Win Key Game, 4-3
FORT DEFIANCE — It annoys Carli Hill when she doesn’t hit well. Actually, “annoys” doesn’t really cover it.
“If I don’t hit right, oh, I’m mad,” the Fort Defiance High School catcher said.
After Friday’s Valley District softball game against Turner Ashby, Hill should be pretty happy.
The junior went 3-for-3 and finished a triple shy of the cycle to lead the Indians to a narrow 4-3 victory in an intense game between two of the district’s top teams.
“She has a beautiful swing,” Fort pitcher Megan Good said.
Hill, Fort’s leadoff hitter, doubled in the first inning and homered in the second, launching a two-run shot over the fence in left-center field. It was her fifth home run of the year — and it went a lot further than she expected.
“I love inside pitches, so I crowd that plate,” Hill said. “So when she threw me inside, I just hit it. I thought it was a blooper.”
Hill’s homer gave Fort (8-2 overall, 7-2 in the district) a 4-1 lead after the Indians — who lost 5-0 to the Knights on April 2 — went up 2-0 in the first inning on a single by senior left fielder Amanda Coleman and a double by Good, who pitched a complete game to improve to 8-2.
The 6-foot junior right-hander gave up three runs and seven hits and struck out 11 and walked one. She also survived a tight seventh inning. TA (11-3-1, 6-2) scored two runs with two outs on a double by sophomore second baseman Olivia Cook and a single by sophomore shortstop Alexa Sheets to make it 4-3.
TA pitcher Blaire Miller gave the Knights a chance at the rally after getting out of a bases-loaded jam in the bottom of the fifth. With no outs, the senior right-hander and Division I Presbyterian (S.C.) recruit got a lineout (which TA turned into a double play, picking off the runner at third base) and a popout to end the inning.
Miller (9-1) also threw a complete game, giving up four runs and eight hits. She struck out four and walked one as TA’s rally fell short.
“They came through heart,” Knights coach Laura Bowman said. “They never gave up, and that’s one thing you can’t fault them for today. I think it was good to see two sophomores — Olivia Cook and Alexa — step up and do that at the end.”
Good, who has verbally committed to play for Division I James Madison, snagged a line shot up the middle from TA junior catcher Bre Bosley to end the game.
“They’re awesome hitters,” Good said. “It was kind of nerve-wracking up there.”
Good also went 2-for-2 with the RBI double and a walk.
Bosley led TA, going 2-for-4 with two singles. Freshman first baseman Allie Herring went 1-for-3 with an RBI single in the second inning that drove in the Knights’ first run of the game and made it 2-1. Cook finished 1-for-4, and Sheets went 1-for-3.
“I think any time we play Fort it’s intense,” Bowman said. “... I know we personally put so much concentration on pitch selection and battling the whole at-bat — I mean, that’s another way to say they didn’t give up. They didn’t just go up there and take their three cuts and sit down.”
Turner Ashby 010 000 2 — 3 7 1
Fort Defiance 220 000 x — 4 8 0
Miller and Bosley; Good and Hill. W — Good (8-2). L — Miller (9-1). HR—Fort: Hill (5).