MIDDLEBURG - Clay High softball got three early runs then shut down the bats of Ridgeview High with a 3-2 win on Wed., March 24 at Clay High School. The win creates a bit of chaos win the district …
MIDDLEBURG - Clay High softball got three early runs then shut down the bats of Ridgeview High with a 3-2 win on Wed., March 24 at Clay High School. The win creates a bit of chaos win the district lineups with both teams at the top of the district 4-4A lineup; Ridgeview now 12-3, Clay now 8-6 with Menendez at 6-3.
Across the county, Middleburg was having a knockdown battle with Nease High that went to a Maisy Campbell double and a Kaley Barnes single to finish off a quasi-upset with a 3-2 5A vs. 7A win.
“We had a rough spring break tournament schedule and played three tough teams in one day in Monteverde that kind of toughened up the team,” said Middleburg coach Ashley Houston. “Then we lost our last two to West Nassau and Creekside and needed to regroup.”
Over in Green Cove Springs, With Clay freshman pitcher Gabrielle Ellis facing off aganist Ridgeview senior Brittany Michael, the game proved to be a defensive slugfest right from the git-go.
Ridgeview opened with two singles and a walk to put Ellis on the hot seat in the first inning, but Ellis prevailed with a strikeout and ground out to stave off the early surge by Ridgeview.
Ellis then ramped up her bat wtih a line drive that got her to first base off an error with K Mann moving Ellis to third before Ema Martin bunted Ellis in a nice display of small ball softball by Blue Devil coach Matt Lewis.
Ellis and Michael locked down both batting lineups with Michael torching three Clay batters in the second inning and Ellis getting strong defensive plays behind her to button down the Panther bats.
Ellis again started the ball rolling
(flying) with a double to open the fourth inning that was followed by Sydney Davis’ double to score two more runs; 3-0.
Ridgeview scored one run in the fifth, but was halted by a nifty double play ball on an Ashlyn Halford fly ball to right field with Kaylee Stacy catching baserunner K Torrence at second on the flyout.
Ironically, Ridgeview centerfielder Mary Girgis mirrored the same outfield double play action in the fifth to knock the Blue Devils out of the dugout.
In the seventh, Halford bashed an RBI line drive to score the game 3-2, but Ellis got two popouts to end the game.
Middleburg would get a second win with a 5-1 win over Providence on Thurs., March 25. The Broncos will host Keystone Heights on Tues., March 30.
OHS Banks steals Keystone upset bid
Keystone Heights (8-5) got as close to an upset over Oakleaf (11-1) as can happen with an 8-6 lead in the fifth inning thanks to a three run homer from Megan Green off Oakleaf pitcher Madi McDaniel, but eventually fell 12-8 to one of Oakleaf’s patented late inning scoring sprees; a six run sixth inning that started as usual with a Khloe Banks baserunning display. There were seven errors between the two teams in a hotly contested batfest.