Lady Pacers suffer first losses of the year, but are still perfect in conference play

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For the first time in 35 regular season games in a streak that lasted all or parts of three seasons, the Switzerland County Lady Pacer softball team lost a regular season game last Friday night at Madison. Although the end of the streak was disappointing, the Lady Pacers remain undefeated in conference play, and are back to their winning ways.

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The Lady Pacers softball team earned a win at home against Rising Sun last Wednesday by a score of 12-2 in six innings.

Natalie Daugherty earned “Player of the Game” honors from coach Steven Konkle. She was 3-for-4 with two triples and had no past balls while catching. She also had two stolen bases, scored three runs, and had two RBI.

Kodi Driver pitched the six innings to earn the win, which pushed her season record to 8-0. She had four strikeouts, allowed just two walks and two earned runs while facing 27 batters. She also had 3-for-4 at the plate, and two of her hits were doubles.

Courtney Cole, Tanya Sefton each had two hits; as did Ashley Chase, who had a triple as part of her pair of hits. Jennifer South, Sara Craig and Natalie Graham each had a hit each.

Finishing with two RBI each were Ashley Chase and Natalie Graham; while Ashley Bright, Courtney Cole and Tanya Sefton each had one RBI each.

Ashley Chase and Tanya Sefton each had two stolen bases; and Natalie Graham, Megan McCarty, Courtney Cole, Sara Craig and Ashley Bright each had a stolen base.

“This would have been a game to overlook, the girls stayed focused and got past some early problems to end it in six innings,” coach Steve Konkle said. “We had some mental errors, but overall we played well. Rising Sun made some nice plays on some hard-hit balls.”

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The jayvee team won against Rising Sun by a score of 11-3. Kayla Konkle was the winning pitcher for the game; and was nominated by her coach, Rob Daugherty, as “Player of the Game”. Kayla Konkle allowed only one earned run while striking out six and giving up only two walks.

Rachel Tressler and Kelsi South each had two hits in the contest; while Melissa Raisor, Megan McCarty, Kayla Konkle, Karista Wengert, Amber Smith, Jenna South, Morgan Ross and Emilee Waldron all had a hit.

Melissa Raisor had two stolen bases and Amber Smith had one. Amber Smith also finished with three RBI; while Rachel Tressler had two, Morgan Ross, Emilee Waldron and Kayla Konkle all had an RBI each.

“We played a good game; our defense has been sharper and we committed only three errors all in the infield,” Coach Daugherty said. “Our conference record is now 3-2.”

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The Lady Pacer winning streak then came to an end last Friday night with a loss at Madison, 9-5.

Natalie Daugherty was nominated as player of the game by Coach Konkle; as she was 2-for-3 at the plate, including a double; and she also had two RBI. Other players getting hits during the game were Natalie Graham, Ashley Chase and Tanya Sefton.

Natalie Graham had two RBI and Sara Craig was the only player with a stolen base.

Kodi Driver pitched seven innings in the game and faced 34 batters. She had four strikeouts, allowed three walks and eight earned runs.

“Madison played well after being down 5-1 and just kept chipping away,” Coach Konkle said. “Our bats silenced and they kept the pressure on us, We can’t play like that against quality teams.”

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The jayvee team also lost to Madison by a score of 6-4. Coach Daugherty nominated Kelsi South as player of the game. Kelsi South came in the game to catch the final four innings for Amber Smith who became ill. She did an excellent job for her first time catching this season, and also went 1-for-2 and scored a run.

Morgan Ross, Rachel Tressler and Megan McCarty also scored; while Morgan Ross and Megan McCarty also had a stolen base each. Ashley Johnson also finished with two RBI and Amber Smith and Morgan Ross each had one RBI.

Ashley Johnson and Jenna Daugherty pitched during the game; Ashley Johnson had a strikeout and Jenna Daugherty had two.

“We played okay. Ashley Johnson pitched a solid fourth inning. She is getting more consistent every outing,” Coach Daugherty said. “We did have several players not feeling to good on the varsity and jayvee level.”

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The Lady Pacers played in the Rivertown Classic tournament semi-final game against Lawrenceburg on Saturday morning; jumping out to an 8-2 in the fifth inning before finishing off the Lawrenceburg Lady Tigers in six innings by a score of 12-2.

Rachel Rodgers was nominated as player of the game by coach Steve Konkle for going 3-for-3 at the plate during the game. Natalie Graham had two hits; Tanya Sefton, Natalie Daugherty, Kodi Driver, Courtney Cole, Amber Smith each had a hit; and Ashley Chase had a double.

Ashley Chase finished with three RBI; while Natalie Daugherty had two RBI. Courtney Cole, Amber Smith, Megan McCarty and Rachel Rodgers each had an RBI.

Tanya Sefton scored three runs and three stolen bases; Rachel Rodgers scored two runs and two stolen bases; Courtney Cole scored two runs; and Natalie Graham, Ashley Bright, Amber Smith and Morgan Ross each scored a run.

Kayla Konkle and Kodi Driver each pitched three innings during the game.

“It was a good start for the day. We scored in four out of six innings. The bottom of the batting order contributed today,” Coach Konkle said. “Multiple players contributed defensively.”

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The championship game was against South Dearborn, and for the second time in 24 hours, Switzerland County lost a game.

This was a tough loss to take, as the Lady Pacers fell by a score of 4-3 in eight innings using an international tie breaker rule.

The Lady Pacers trailed 1-0 after three innings, but tied it up in the fourth inning. The game went into the eighth inning with a score of 2-2.

Using the international tie breaker rule when the Lady Pacer team came up to bat in the eighth inning, a player — Natalie Daugherty — was automatically put on second base to start the inning. The team was able to get Natalie Daugherty in for a score; and if the Lady Pacers could hold South Dearborn in the bottom of the inning, the game would be won.

In the bottom of the eighth inning, the Lady Knights had the same opportunity; placing a player on second base to start the inning. The Lady Knights succeeded in getting the bases loaded; but Switzerland County had a force out at home to temporarily hold the lead; but then South Dearborn got an opposite field bloop hit that went past right fielder, and the Lady Knights scored the winning runs.

Natalie Daugherty scored twice and Amber Smith scored once. Ashley Chase, Natalie Daugherty and Megan McCarty all had a stolen base.

Kodi Driver pitched all eight innings, facing 32 batters; and was one of the three players nominated as players of the game. Natalie Daugherty and Amber Smith were also nominated by coach Steve Konkle.

Courtney Cole and Natalie Daugherty each had two hits; while Ashley Chase, Kodi Driver, Amber Smith and Rachel Rodgers all finished with one.

“Just a great ball game,” Coach Konkle said. “We didn’t win this one, but we battled through the rain and injuries. We will be a better team because we played this game. South Dearborn is a quality team and had a quality pitcher today.”