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Lady Eagles Fall To Defending Champs

Lady Eagles Fall To Defending Champs

David Sharp

   Whitney Kroeger slammed a second inning homer and drove in five runs, backing up a ten strikeout pitching performance leading Palmyra (2-0) to a 12-3 win at Knox County (1-2) in August 23 varsity softball action. The contest was the first game played at the newly renovated Knox County R-I softball and baseball complex.

   Brittany Miller got the first two Lady Panther batters in the first inning. All-stater Whitney Kroeger doubled and was driven in when Jessica Van Nostrand followed with an RBI double. Macy Bross plated Van Nostrand with a base hit for a two run Palmyra lead.

   Knox County competed with the Class 2 defending state champions the whole game. The Lady Eagles roared back at Palmyra starter Morgan Smyser with three first inning runs and took a 3-2 lead after one inning of play.

   Amanda Woods and Myra Parrish greeted the Lady Panthers number two hurler with back-to-back base hits. Hannah Dale had a good at bat but struck out on a 3-2 pitch for the first out. Cleanup batter Brittany Miller got her cuts but fanned for out number two,

   Senior Holly Kite singled in the first KCHS run. Lorrie Peters walked loading the bases with two down. Bobi Jo Goodrich battled for an RBI walk tying the score at two. Kaley Sutton was hit by a pitch, earning a somewhat painful RBI and a 3-2 Knox County lead. Chelsea Bisch grounded sharply to shortstop for the third out.

   Bridget Hall walked and later scored the tying run on a passed ball in the second inning. After Brittany Miller fanned her fourth batter, Whitney Kroeger lofted a three run homer over the left field fence for a 6-3 Palmyra lead.

   Amanda Woods collected her second hit of the game leading off the KCHS second but was stranded on first base. A hit batsman, stolen base and an error put Mach Bross on third base in the Palmyra third inning. Knox County fought their way out of the jam with no runs scored. Palmyra held a 6-3 lead after three innings.

   The Lady Panthers pressured Knox County into defensive mistakes during a four run fourth inning. Whitney Kroeger struck again with a two RBI double followed by Jessica Van Nostrand’s RBI hit for a 10-3 Lady Panther advantage.

   Jessica Van Nostrand and Morgan Smyser proved Palmyra has pitching depth behind sophomore all-stater Taylor Baxter. Smyser hurled three innings, striking out two batters for the win. Jessica Van Nostrand struck out eight batters in four innings pitched and earned a save.

   Amanda Woods reached base on a seventh inning error. Woods was the lone Lady Eagle runner to reach base after the second inning.

   Bridget Hall knocked in another Palmyra run in the sixth inning. Danielle Boulware doubled and scored in the seventh rounding out the scorecard. Hannah Dale made a nice catch for the second out of the seventh inning.

   Palmyra scored 12 runs on 12 hits and two errors. Jessica Van Nostrand and Macy Bross had two Lady Panther hits each. Danielle Boulware went 2-3 with a walk and three Palmyra runs scored.

   “Palmyra has girls that can rip the ball,” said Lady Eagle coach Stephanie Crawford. “When your pitcher is hitting her spots and they still hit her, you just have to hang in there. We want to stay in every game and be competitive.”

   “We came out and took charge with two runs in the first inning,” said Lady Panther coach Brian Wosman. “We have a big tournament this weekend, and we wanted to get some innings out of our other two girls.”

   “Knox (County) responded well,” said Wosman. “We came out and settled down after the first inning. Our pitchers threw strikes. We came out and scored some runs. If we can score some runs and play solid defense we are going to be in every game.”

   Palmyra won the 2006 Class 2 state title and has eight of their nine players returning. Highland downed Palmyra and tied for the Clarence Cannon Conference title in 2006 after the Lady Cougars went undefeated for the 2005 Class 2 championship.

   Knox County scored three times on four hits and six errors. Amanda Woods was 2-4 with a Lady Eagle run scored. Brittany Miller (1-2) struck out seven batters in seven innings pitched.

   The Lady Eagles take on Scotland County in non-conference action on August 30 before hosting the Knox County Tournament on Saturday, September 1.