Blue Ridge Softball Finds "Groove," Wins Conference Game over Heyworth

HEYWORTH, Ill. -- The Lady Knights erased any chance of the Hornets, pulling off a stinging upset in the fifth inning and never looked back.

With Blue Ridge down 2-1, Jade O'Neal drove Jordyn Fones and Marcie Crawford home with a double for what turned out to be the game-winning run. From there, the Lady Knights dominated en route to a 9-2 victory.

"After the third inning, I thought we were back in the groove after not playing very well for about a week and a half," Blue Ridge coach Myron Schroeder said. "I think we're coming back; I think we're playing OK. We're going to peak at the right time."

Following O'Neal's 2-RBI double, Melinda Wilson, who was belatedly celebrating a birthday after the game, drove in Alana Strum, who was running for O'Neal, with a triple. She scored a run to make the score 5-2 after Hannah Mattingly hit a fly ball to right field that was dropped for an error.

In the sixth inning, Crawford sent Fones to home plate with an single to left field. Fones got on base with a bunt single and stole second base before scoring.

Fones finished the game batting 4-for-5 with a double and two runs. She also stole three bases.

Mattingly hit a two-out, two-RBI single to make the score 8-2 at the end of the sixth inning. With one out in the seventh inning, Kalyn Reynolds hit a ball to right-center field that led to an inside-the-park home run.

Jordan Wheeler was the winning pitcher for Blue Ridge. She increased her record to 12-3 by striking out 10 Heyworth batters and giving up two runs on five hits and no walks.

With runners on second and third base in the first inning, Wheeler threw a wild pitch that sent both runners home and gave the Hornets the early 2-0 lead.

The lead was cut to 2-1 in the second inning when Wilson scored on a Jamison Brandt groundout.   

The win over Heyworth improved Blue Ridge's record to 18-4 and 6-2 in the Heart of Illinois Conference. The Lady Knights will host Flanagan today at 4:30 p.m., with Senior Day festivities starting at 4:30 p.m.

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