Athletic directors at the Class 5A level have proven to be the most invested in controlling their own playoff destiny since a switch to the...
TALENT — Henley slugger Tara Moates hit a solo home run with two outs in the top of the seventh and Phoenix left the tying run stranded at second base on a game-ending double play as the Hornets secured a Skyline Conference softball sweep Saturday at Hagler-James Field.
Henley won the first game 3-0 behind Kelly Scott's four-hit shutout, then took the nightcap 4-3.
In Game 2, Moates, who had three hits on the day, turned on an 0-2 pitch to put Henley in front one inning after the Hornets tied the game on a dropped fly ball. Phoenix was in good position to at least tie it up in the bottom of the inning after Delanie Tally hit a leadoff double into the right-center field gap, but Scott struck out the next batter before Meranda Zanni hit a line drive to short that resulted in a catch-and-tag double play.
"The errors (hurt), and just the fact that we didn't produce offensively," Phoenix coach Jason Zanni said, "which is really odd because the two games before that we had 44 hits. We came out there and went completely flat."
Scott struck out four with one walk to help Henley (9-6, 4-1 Skyline) win the opener. Her counterpart, Meranda Zanni, struck out 10 and surrendered one earned run on five hits, but the Pirates (11-4, 2-2) couldn't rally and hurt their chances by committing three errors.
Amanda Skaff was 2-for-3 with a double and two steals to lead Phoenix, which had its six-game winning streak snapped.
In Game 2, Henley scored two runs on a dropped fly ball in the second, but Phoenix fought back to tie the game in the third and claimed a 3-2 lead on Zanni's solo homer in the fifth. Zanni, who has six homers on the year, was 2-for-4 with two RBIs, and Tally 2-for-4 with a run scored to lead the Pirates in Game 2.
For Henley, Moates was 2-for-4 and Elaina Gregg 2-for-3 with two RBIs.
Henley 000 201 0 — 3 5 0
Phoenix 000 000 0 — 0 4 3
Scott and Herr; Zanni and Hamilton. W — Scott. L — Zanni (7-2). 2B — H: Wilhite, Moates, Conrad; P: D. Tally, Skaff.
Henley 020 001 1 — 4 5 1
Phoenix 002 010 0 — 3 8 5
Scott and Herr; Zanni and Hamilton. W — Scott. L — Zanni (7-3). 2B — P: D. Tally. HR — H: Moates; P: Zanni (6).
NORTH VALLEY 30-21, HIDDEN VALLEY 2-1 — At Murphy, North Valley racked up 44 hits in the Skyline sweep including six by Lexi Pittman, who had a grand slam in the second game.
In the opener, Pittman went 5-for-6 with two doubles and five RBIs to lead four North Valley players with at least four hits. Kenzie Schmoll (4-for-6, five RBIs), Mikayla Dart (4-for-5, two RBIs), Kady Kantola (4-for-6, four RBIs) and Mikala Mohr (3-for-5, five RBIs) also came up big in Game 1 for the Knights (9-9, 2-3 Skyline).
In Game 2, Kasey Werner and Abi Kite had three hits apiece to lead North Valley, with Werner driving in three runs. Emily Allen was 2-for-3 with three RBIs.
Hidden Valley fell to 1-15 and 0-6.
North Valley 8(11)4 70 — 30 28 1
Hidden Valley 100 10 — 2 3 3
Mohr and Stark; York, Lawson (1) and C. Allen. W — Mohr (4-4). L —York. 2B — NV: Pittman, Dart 2, Mohr, Allen. 3B — NV: Schmoll 2, Mohr. HR — HV: C. Allen.
North Valley (19)20 00 — 21 16 0
Hidden Valley 100 00 — 1 4 7
Kantola, Allen (4) and Kite; Lawson, York (1) and Green, C. Allen (3). W — Kantola (2-2). L — Lawson. 2B — NV: Dart, Allen. 3B — NV: Mohr. HR — NV: Pittman (1).