JOHN CURTIS - Daily Union Sports Editor
Shelbyville Daily Union
SHELBYVILLE, IL. —
The Lady Rams got off to a good start in Casey on Saturday, but then failed to capitalize the rest of the way and ended up losing a squeaker in eight innings, 4-3. Shelby bounced back for an 8-3 win in the second game.
Shelbyville out-hit Casey in both games and out-pitched Casey in both games. Casey has a good freshman pitcher in Lexie Black, but seniors Grace Moll and Abbie Watton took turns taking her to school.
In the first game, Grace Moll was in a pitching battle, but not with Black. Moll KO'd 13 batters, but was also called for nine walks. Moll has never come close to walking nine batters in a game, in middle school, travel ball, or three years of high school, even when umpires have unilaterally shrunk her strike zone.
Those nine walks helped tip the scales in favor of the 4-3 Casey win over eight innings.
Shelby jumped on Black early and often in the 1st. Madison Boone led off with a double. Kayla Brachbill singled and Moll singled in two runs. Rachel Fox's single and Brandy Smith's RBI single made it five hits in a row, giving the Rams a 3-0 lead. Moll faced four batters in the Casey 1st and struck out three. The other walked.
Black regrouped and held the Rams in check for the next five innings. The Rams squeezed Casey, but they were able to leak out.
In the 4th a 1-out single and two wild pitches allowed the runner, Belt, to score, 3-1 Rams. In the 5th, Parker led off with a single then Moll allowed a walk. Moll threw out the next batter from the mound. The next hitter, Neal, doubled, driving in both runners and tying the score, 3-3. Moll rang up the next batter, but two free passes were handed out in a row, loading the bases. Moll KO'd the next batter on four pitches.
Smith and Watton walked in the Ram 6th, but were stranded. Moll KO'd one, threw out one and walked on in the 6th and Boone threw out the last batter.
In the Ram 7th, Courtney Williams led off with a single, but was out on a fielder's choice. With two outs, Moll singled, putting runners on 1st and 3rd. A pop out killed their shot at the lead.
In the Casey 7th, Casey also almost scored. Moll rang up her 12th victim, then a free pass was given. A passed ball and a stolen base, put the winning run on 3rd. The next batter put the ball in play, but Moll threw the runner out at 3rd trying to score. Brachbill threw out the next batter to end the inning.
In the 8th, Jensen Cloe doubled with one out. Watton singled, but Cloe was held up at 3rd. She was thrown out at home on a fielder's choice, denying the Rams the lead, again.
In the Casey 8th, the 1st batter got a free pass. Moll rang up the next batter, then Brachbill threw out the base runner at 1st. With two outs, Parker smacked a triple. The next batter reached on a fielder's choice, driving in the winning run.
Moll led the Rams in hitting going 2-for-4 with two RBIs. Parker led Casey, going 2-for-4 with a triple and the winning run.
Casey 4, Shelbyville 3
Shelby 300 000 00--3-9-1
Casey 000 120 01--4-4-1
Shelby stats: Boone 1-for-4, 2B, 2 FC, run; Brachball 1-for-3, BB, SB, run; Moll 2-for-4, run, 2 RBIs; Fox 1-for-4; Smith 1-for-3, BB; Cloe 1-for-4, 2B; Watton 1-for-2, 2 BBs; Eigsti 0-for-4, FC; Williams 1-for-3, BB. Pitching (L) Moll 4 runs, 4 hits, 9 BBs, 13 Ks.
Casey stats: Morgan 0-for-3, FC, 2 BBs, run; Cutright 0-for-2, 2 BBs; Neal 1-for-4, 2B, 2 RBIs; Maulding 0-for-3, BB, SB; Decker 0-for-3, FC; Belt 1-for-3, BB, ROE, run; Brandenburg 0-for-3, BB; Black 0-for-3, BB; Parker 2-for-4, 3B, 2 runs. Pitching (W) Black 3 runs, 9 hits, 4 BBs, 6 Ks.
After the gut-wrenching extra-inning loss in game 1, the Rams took it out on Casey, pounding out nine hits, getting a lead and exploding for six runs in the 4th and 5th. Abbie Watton pitched for Shelby and KO'd eight, while Black, pitching her second game of the day, only had four Ks.
Shelby scored early again. With two outs, Moll walked and Madison Boone launched a 2-run homer. Watton hit the first Casey batter and gave up an RBI-double by Neal. Neal tried to steal 3rd, but Courtney Williams threw her out. With two dead, Watton rang up the clean-up hitter.
Shelby had the bases jammed in the 2nd, but couldn't get them in. Watton walked, Smith singled and Lindsey Eigsti reached on an error. A fielder's choice got Williams at home and a pop out ended the opportunity. Watton gave up a double in the 2nd, but also had her second K.
Moll led off the Ram 3rd with a single, but was left on. Watton rang up Casey's first batter in the 3rd, Williams made a 2-unassisted play. The next batter singled, but was out on the base paths.
Shelby made noise in the 4th. Watton led off with a walk. With one out, Eigsti reached on an error. Williams reached on an error and a 2 runs were in. With one out and one on, Kayla Brachbill launched a 2-run home run for a 6-1 lead. Moll walked and Boone singled, but they were stranded.
Casey manufactured a run in the 4th. A lead-off single and a stolen base got it going. Moll threw out the next batter at 1st and Brachbill threw out the following batter at 1st, but a run scored, 6-2 Rams. Watton KO'd the next batter, her fourth.
Shelby struck again in the 5th. Smith singled with one out, but was out on a fielder's choice by Eigsti. Williams singled and Brachbill drew a walk. With the bases loaded, Moll cranked a 2-run double, 8-2 Rams. Casey got a single in the 5th, but Watton rang up her 5th. Cloe hit her second double on the day in the 6th, but was left on.
In the Casey 6th, Watton threw another KO, but with two outs the Rams committed an error, then another error, then another error, leading to a Casey run, 8-3. The Rams were retired in order in the 7th.
Casey needed five runs, got none. After hitting a batter, Watton sent Casey down 1, 2, 3. A pop up to Moll at short was the first. Watton KO'd her 8th victim. Eigsti squeezed a fly ball in right to end the game and get the split with Casey.
The Ram hit crew was led by Moll, going 2-for-2 with a double, two runs, two RBIs. Boone was 2-for-4 with a home run and two RBIs. Brachbill was 1-for-4 with a 2-run blast and Smith was 2-for-4. Five Casey batters hit safely with Belt (1-for-3) getting their only big hit, a double.
Shelbyville 8, Casey 3
Shelby 200 420 0--8-9-3
Casey 101 010 0--3-6-3
Shelby stats: Williams 1-for-5, FC, ROE, 2 runs; Brachbill 1-for-4, HR, run, 2 RBIs; Moll 2-for-2, 2 BB, 2B, run, 2 RBIs; Boone 2-for-4, HR, run, 2 RBIs; Fox 0-for-4; Cloe 1-for-4, 2B; Watton 0-for-2, 2 BBs, run; Smith 2-for-4; Eigsti 0-for-4 FC, 2 ROE. Pitching (W) Watton 3 runs, 6 hits, 2 HB, 0 BBs, 8 Ks.
Casey stats: Morgan 1-for-2, 2 HBP, SB, run; Cutright 0-for-4; Neal 1-for-4, 2B; Mauldine 1-for-4, SB, run; Decker 0-for-3, ROE; Belt 1-for-3, 2B, ROE; Brandenburg 0-for-3, ROE; Parker 1-for-3; Dish 0-for-2 (Gross 0-for-1). Pitching (L) Black 8 runs, 9 hits, 5 BBs, 4 Ks.