For the first three innings the Lady Dee softball team looked like a team trying not to lose in their quest to win a fourth straight South Central Conference title. Offensively, two walks, a hit batter and three strikeouts. Defensively, fighting their way out of a runner at second in the second on a walk and a wild pitch and a single and a runner at second in the third.
In the last three innings, they looked like the number one team in Class 3A, challenging Clarke to try to take their record fourth straight SCC title.
The Dees rocked Indian pitcher Sadie Marker for six hits and six runs, including a triple by Lauren Bayer, her second in as many games, and a two-run home run by Abbie Martin, her third on the season. Defensively, Jena Lawrence dominated with 12 total strikeouts, giving up two singles, a double and a pair of walks in seven innings on the mound. Jade Boland robbed Clarke of a likely triple, catching a rocket down the third base line, Martin had a catch in right field that killed an inning, Ellie Spurgin had a catch in the sixth with one on and Lawrence gave up a leadoff single in the seventh, then struck out two and caught a weak pop-up to end the game.
Albia struggled to find room to hit with Marker throwing inside and getting the corner. Abbey Griffin was hit by an inside pitch and Makenna Ross walked in the first, but there was scarce little offense until Ross walked again in the third. Alex Beard struck out in her first at bat and then popped to the catcher to end the third.
In the fourth inning, Clarke did the unthinkable against a #1 ranked team in the state. They had an error in centerfield that put Lawrence (and then Lexie Jones) on first. With one out, Danica Workman laced a single to move Jones to third, stole second and MacKenna Jones drove in the first run of the game with a single.
In the fifth, Griffin led off with a walk and Ross sacrificed her to second. Beard took an outside pitch and lined it to right field, driving in Griffin. Allie Major came on to run for Beard, stole second and scored when Bayer hit a two-out triple. Then Workman, who suffered her worst game of the season the night before, drilled another single to score Bayer. Abbie Martin came to the plate and crushed a pitch over the left field fence for her third homer of the season, giving Albia its 6-0 lead.
Lawrence stayed perfect on the season, giving up a walk in the second, a hit in the third, a leadoff double in the fourth, a two-out walk in the sixth and a leadoff single in the seventh. She threw heater after heater, with few in the Clarke line-up able to catch up to the senior.