The Albia Lady Dee softball team needed some late inning heroics at the plate to offset some spotty play on Thursday as they beat Knoxville 5-3 in eight innings. You could argue that the Dees had played flawlessly through their first seven games, beating third-ranked Class 4A Oskaloosa 3-0 on Wednesday and five other ranked teams before traveling to unbeaten Knoxville.
In softball and baseball one of “those” games invariably happens. Usually when it happens it results in a loss. To pull out a victory when you don’t have all of your best stuff is like shooting at a 12-point buck, missing and having the deer knock himself out running into a tree. Except the knockout was an eighth inning homerun by junior shortstop Lauren Bayer.
Albia opened the game with Abbey Griffin and Makenna Ross hitting back-to-back singles. Alex Beard hit into a fielder’s choice and Griffin was rubbed off third attempting to score. Jena Lawrence drove in Ross on a shortstop to first fielder’s choice to give Albia a 1-0 lead.
Lawrence breezed through the first three innings, giving up a double by Maddy Finley to lead off the second, but using two strikeouts and some nifty fielding to get to the third unscathed.
MacKenna Jones singled in the second, then Beard clobbered a two-out homerun in the third to give Albia a 2-0 lead. Lawrence singled and Abbie Martin hit a deep fly into centerfield that was caught to end the inning. Bayer singled and was stranded at second in the fourth.
Lawrence had barely thrown a ball, let alone a walk until the fourth. She put on three straight runners on walks and misplayed a pop-up in foul territory to bring up Sarah Heffron with no outs and bases loaded. Heffron singled to right, but Martin hit the cutoff to prevent any more than one run. Jaydn Streigle singled to score another run, but this time Dani Workman held Knoxville to just one run. An error on Lauren Bayer at shortstop gave Knoxville a 3-2 lead before Griffin caught a pop-up at second for the final out. Knoxville scored three runs batting through the order.
Bayer singled in the fourth but was left on.
The Dees rallied in the fifth with Griffin doubling to the fence, Ross driving in Griffin with a single, Beard walking and Bayer scoring on a deep sacrifice fly hit by Lawrence, letting Albia retake the lead at 4-3.
Workman carried the defensive load in the fifth and sixth, catching four deep flies in centerfield. Albia went down in order in the seventh, but Lawrence gave up a one-out single and Emma Dunkin hit an RBI double to tie the score at 4-4 before Lawrence struck out the last two in the inning.
Bayer led off in the eighth and drilled a pitch over the centerfield fence to give Albia a 5-4 lead. Then Workman doubled and Griffin rippled an RBI double to give Albia a 6-4 lead.
Lawrence gave up a lead off walk to Knoxville in the eighth but struck out two and forced a pop-up to catcher Beard to end the game.
Griffin led the Dees with three hits, including two doubles and an RBI. Ross had two hits, scored twice and drove in a run. Beard homered and walked in four at bats. Lawrence singled and drove in a run. Bayer had a single and homered. Workman doubled and scored, Jones singled and Spurgin was on base once with a walk.
Lawrence gave up four runs on four hits, walked four and had three errors in the field.
Albia goes to 8-0 as the #3 ranked team in Class 3A.
#3 Osky 3-0
The Albia girls used a four-hit, one-walk, 10-strikeout shutout by Jena Lawence to stifle Class 4A #3 ranked Oskaloosa 3-0 on Wednesday.
Lawrence got great support from her teammates in the field and at the plate where they cranked out nine hits, scoring a run in the third and two in the fifth on an Abbey Griffin two-run homerun.
Makenna Ross had a pair of hits for the Dees.
goes down 9-1
The Dees pounded previously unbeaten (9-0) Lynnville-Sully on Saturday.
Jena Lawrence pitched a one-hitter with four walks and 10 strikeouts in the game. She also had two hits and an RBI.
The Dees played long ball with Dani Workman, Abbie Martin and Abbey Griffin all smashing homeruns.
Albia beat Chariton 9-1 on Monday to remain unbeaten.