The Switzerland County Lady Pacer varsity softball team continued its undefeated season with two more victories last week and another on Monday night. The team’s record now stands at 9-0 on the year.
This past Monday night, April 26th, Lily Sparks hurled another perfect game and Maddie Duvall powered another home run to lead the Lady Pacers to a 12-0 victory over Southwestern in five innings due to the mercy rule.
Sparks was incredible throughout the game, striking out 10 of the 15 batters she faced.
Offensively, Switzerland County got all the runs that they would need in the bottom of the first, as Jessie Duvall led off with a double, and Maddie Duvall plated her sister with an RBI single moments later. Sparks then drew a walk, and Nora Hankins brought home Maddie Duvall on a hard grounder to the shortstop for the RBI. Hailey Sainz then walked, Madesyn Byrd collected a single scoring Sainz, and after one the Lady Pacers led 4-0.
In the bottom of the second, Keirstan Oeffinger led off with a walk; and Jessie Duvall followed that with another double. With runners on second and third, Maddie Duvall clobbered a three-run homer. Sparks walked again, Hankins drew a walk to put two on, and Sainz followed with a sacrifice RBI flyout to centerfield. Gabby Abplanalp then reached on an error by the first baseman, and after stealing a base, scored when Sarah Koons reached on an error by the third baseman.
The final Switzerland County runs came in the third inning, when Jessie Duvall had her third double of the night; Maddie Duvall knocked her in with a single; and Sparks brought Maddie Duvall home with a sacrifice fly to center.
Last Tuesday, April 20th, Switzerland County spotted Owen County (Kentucky) an early lead before taking control and cruising to a 4-3 win.
After Owen County scored a run in the top of the first inning — a rare occurrence off of Lady Pacer ace Lily Sparks — Switzerland County bounced right back and scored two runs in the bottom of the opening stanza and never looked back.
Lead off hitter Jessie Duvall opened the inning with a triple; and scored moments later on a double by Maddie Duvall. A two-out double by Hailey Sainz plated Maddie Duvall with the Lady Pacers’ second run. Madesyn Byrd drew a walk in the bottom of the first.
After holding Owen County scoreless in the top of the second, the bottom of the inning looked to be routine for Switzerland County as well — until with two outs Jessie Duvall drilled a solo home run to make the score 3-1 in favor of the homestanders.
Things remained scoreless for both teams things moved into the bottom of the fourth, when with two outs Keirstan Oeffinger was hit by a pitch, and Jessie Duvall picked up her second RBI of the game when she drove in Oeffinger with a double.
Owen County got single runs in the top of the sixth and seventh innings, but the Lady Pacers held on to earn the win.
Jessie Duvall would end up a single-shy of hitting for the cycle in the game.
On the mound, Sparks was nearly un-hittable in the game, as all three Owen County runs were unearned and came off Lady Pacer errors.
Sparks went the distance, striking out 11 while allowing just three hits and one base and balls.
On Friday, April 23rd, Switzerland County hosted Providence, and earned a 3-1 win.
With Sparks on the mound and controlling the game, neither offense could mount much of an attack early.
Switzerland County would get all of the runs that it would need in the bottom of the fourth, scoring three times.
Gabby Abplanalp opened the fourth by being hit by a pitch; and after McKaila Peelman walked, Jessie Duvall blasted a double that scored Abplanalp with Peelman being thrown out trying to score, as well.
Maddie Duvall then came to the plate and laced a triple that scored Jessie Duvall. Maddie then scored after a stolen base. Sparks had a double in the fourth.
Providence would get its only run in the top of the seventh, when Brooklyn Nolot hit a home run.
Sparks went the distance, allowing four hits and one earned run. She finished with 10 strikeouts.