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By Troy Treasure
NEMOnews Media Group
If one likes good pitching and defense, Clark County’s match-up Saturday in the Paris Tournament semifinals against North Shelby was tailor-made for your taste.
NS rallied from behind in the seventh and eighth innings to win 3-2.
Lady Indians’ pitcher Alexis Ellison and NS pitcher Natalie Thrasher were solid from the game’s 1 p.m. start. Ellison took a one-hitter into the seventh inning; Thrasher a two-hitter into the sixth.
Clark County claimed a 1-0 lead in the top of the sixth. Olivia Miller led off with a single to left field. With two outs, Kiara Brunk laced an RBI single to right-center field.
NS tied the game in the bottom of the seventh.
Ellison struck out Lilly Cook on a 3-2 pitch. Thrasher beat out an infield single; then Ellison hit clean-up batter Caroline Linberger with a delivery. After a passed ball advanced the runners, courtesy runner Jaylea Barrick scored on Whitney Snow’s infield single.
The Lady Raiders stranded the potential game-winning run at third base. Ellison bore down to strike out Meg Shively and Ava Williams grounded out.
The International tie-breaker eighth inning began with Clark County courtesy runner Hope Ross at second base. Gloria Shannon’s sacrifice ground out moved Ross to third. The Lady Indians went up 2-1 when a Miller ground out plated Ross.
North Shelby was down to its final strike in the bottom of the eighth.
With Williams at third base, Chesnie Robbins ripped a 1-2 pitch down the third-base line. An overthrow to first base tied the score 2-2.
The Lady Raiders got the walk-off victory when Robbins scored on Cook’s line-shot to left.
Ellison finished with eight Ks and one walk. Thrasher had seven strikeouts and no walks. Both pitchers went the full eight innings.
Ellison appeared to increase her velocity as the contest progressed.
“She will do that. She’s the ultimate competitor,” Clark County head coach Shaun Parker said. “I don’t have to say anything to her before a game. We talk a little bit here and there, but I just know as the game goes on that she’s going to push herself, push herself, push herself.”
The Lady Indians played Community R-VI in the third-place game at 3:20 p.m.
Clark County won 10-6 in sunny, breezy and, at times, dusty conditions.
Ashtyn Ebeling started in the circle against the Trojans.
Community R-VI took a 2-1 lead in the top of the second inning before an impressive Clark County 6-3-5 double play.
The Lady Indians scored three runs in the bottom of the second and once in the third.
Clark County thwarted Community R-VI comeback attempts adding two runs in fourth inning and three more in the fifth.
With the win, the Lady Indians improved to 9-5.
Salisbury won the tournament championship with a 6-0 shutout of North Shelby.
Tournament Director Gary Crusha said original No. 1 seed Canton informed him Thursday evening, Sept. 24, it would withdraw from competition due to a positive COVID-19 test on the team.