Blue Ridge Softball Loses to Fieldcrest Knights in Extra-Inning Joust

Score by innings
Fieldcrest  003 000 02 -- 5
Blue Ridge  012 000 00 -- 3

FARMER CITY, Ill. -- The back of Jade O'Neal's warmup shirt reads, "You lose, no prom for you."

Despite Blue Ridge's 5-3 loss to Fieldcrest, there will be a prom at the high school tonight. Still, head coach Myron Schroeder could make do without the error-happy defeat to the black Knights from Minonk.

"I thought we hit the ball well off a good pitcher and we made some good plays early in the game, but errors finally snuck up on us," Schroeder said. 

All five of Fieldcrest's runs were unearned, including two in a four-error eighth inning. After a leadoff single in the top of the extra inning, a bunt put runners on first and second; however, one of the runners was tagged out after she was caught overrunning second base.

The runner on first scored via an RBI double. That batter scored from second base after a fly ball bounced off a diving Jordyn Fones' glove.

In the third inning, Fieldcrest took a 2-1 lead when a squeeze bunt resulted in two runs. With runners on second and third base, Wheeler attempted to throw out a runner at home plate.

After a collision in which the runner ended up safe at home, the ball popped loose. By the time Blue Ridge controlled it, another run scored and the bunter ended up at third base.

In the next at-bat, the bunting runner reached home plate on an RBI single.

Melinda Wilson started the scoring with a solo home run to right field in the second inning. It was her seventh home run of the season, tying a career best for home runs in a season.

She hit seven homers in 2010, which was a school record before this year.

That record belongs to Jordan Wheeler, who hit a two-run shot (her 11th of the season) to left-center field in the third inning to tie the score at 3-3. Wheeler's home run gave Blue Ridge 36 for the season and sole possession of fourth place on the IHSA's all-time list for home runs in a season.

Wheeler also struck out eight batters, but also gave up nine hits to fall to 16-4. Tiffany Lindsay was the winning pitcher for Fieldcrest, giving up six hits and striking out six batters.

With the loss to Fieldcrest, Blue Ridge sees its record drop to 22-5 overall and 8-3 in the Heart of Illinois Conference. The Lady Knights' next game will be in Downs on Monday, where they will take on Ridgeview in the conference tournament.

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