Blue Ridge Softball Punches Ticket to HOIC Quarterfinals with Big Win over Ridgevew

Score by innings
Ridgeview  000 00 -- 0
Blue Ridge 470 2x -- 13

DOWNS, Ill. -- Right from the opening inning, the No. 13-seeded Mustangs were no match for the No. 4-seeded Lady Knights or for the wind.

Blue Ridge scored 11 runs in the first two innings and Jordan Wheeler threw a no-hitter en route to a 13-0 win over Ridgeview.

With the win, the Lady Knights improved their overall record to 23-5 heading into a Heart of Illinois Conference quarterfinal matchup against Tremont. Led by a perfect game from Ali Meeks (a second consecutive no-hitter on The Hill at Tri-Valley High School), the No. 5-seeded Turks beat Lexington 10-0 in five innings.

Their previous meeting was last Tuesday at Tremont, where Blue Ridge beat the Turks 5-1. The HOIC quarterfinal meeting is scheduled for Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.

"It'll be a good matchup," Lady Knights coach Myron Schroeder said. "It'll come down to defense and who gets hot with the bats. If we play defense, we'll be fine." 

After Jordyn Fones led off the Ridgeview game with an infield single, Marcie Crawford hit an RBI double to left field to give Blue Ridge an early 1-0 lead. Wheeler hit another double to left field to score Crawford.

After Wheeler stole third base and scored on a Jade O'Neal ground ball, Melinda Wilson hit a double through the Mustangs' third baseman. With Jamison Brandt at bat, Wilson scored from third base on a wild pitch that sailed behind Brandt's back.

In the second inning, Fones reached second base with a line drive that deflected off the Ridgeview third baseman. With Crawford at bat, Fones attempted to steal third base; after a collision jarred the ball loose, Fones took home plate.

After Wheeler hit a double and O'Neal hit a single to put runners on the corners, Wilson hit an infield single to score Wheeler. Chandler Morrow, who ran as a courtesy to catcher O'Neal, and Wilson scored scored when Hannah Mattingly reached first base on an error by the first baseman.

After Jamison Brandt hit a double to left-center field, Kalyn Reynolds smacked a base hit down the middle of the infield to score Mattingly. With two outs, Fones hit a single to score Brandt and Reynolds.

In the fourth inning, an infield single by Fones and a double to left-center field by Crawford put runners on second and third base. Wheeler then hit a fly ball that turned into trouble in left field, dropping to the ground after catching a gust of wind.

Alana Strum, who was substituting for Fones, scored on the Wheeler double to make the score 12-0 in favor of Blue Ridge. Mattingly drove Wheeler to her third run of the game, and the Lady Knights' last, with a double to center field.

Wheeler finished the game hitting 3-for-4 with three doubles and driving in two runs to go with the three she scored.

She also increased her pitching record to 17-4 as she faced 16 Ridgeview batters, striking out seven of them. A throwing error by Wilson put a runner on second base in the second inning.

Wheeler also walked a batter in the fourth inning. However, O'Neal caught the Mustang runner attempting to steal second base. 

Wilson pulled off another defensive gem in the third inning, catching a foul ball alongside the fence near the Blue Ridge dugout.

Wilson also hit 2-for-4 at the plate with double, scoring a run and driving in another. Fones led the Lady Knights at the plate, batting 4-for-4 with a double, two runs and two RBIs.

Other Notable Blue Ridge Stats

Crawford -- 3-for-4, 2 doubles, RBI, run.

Brandt -- 3-for-4, double, run.

Reynolds -- 2-for-2, RBI, run.

Mattingly -- 1-for-2, double, RBI, run, walk.

O'Neal -- 1-for-4, RBI.

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