Melinda Wilson, Blue Ridge Softball Goes Deep in Regional Quarterfinal Win over LeRoy

Score by innings
LeRoy      000 10 -- 1
Blue Ridge  500 43 -- 12

FARMER CITY -- Before the game, Myron Schroeder expressed some hope that Blue Ridge might hit four home runs against LeRoy.

That would put the Lady Knights in some good company, giving them a tie for second place on the IHSA record books for most home runs hit in a season. With 40 home runs, the 2006 Downers Grove South softball team currently holds the No. 2 mark.

Blue Ridge fell just short, hitting three dingers. Melinda Wilson, Jordan Wheeler and Kalyn Reynolds each hit a home run to lead the Lady Knights to a 12-1 victory over LeRoy.

However, the three homers put Blue Ridge in a tie for third place with the 1985 Massac County team from Metropolis with at least one more game left to play.

"It feels good," Wilson said. "Our team is doing really good on home runs this year. We only need one more to be tied for second, so I think we'll get it."

Wilson started the dinger party in the first inning with Blue Ridge up 1-0 and the bases loaded. After Jade O'Neal was hit by a pitch in the previous at-bat with the sacks packed, Wilson cleared the bases with a grand-slam home run to left field.

"It felt great," Wilson said. "It seemed on the bat, and I just swung."

The homer sent Marcie Crawford, Wheeler and Chandler Morrow, who was running as a courtesy to O'Neal, to home plate.

Jordyn Fones scored when O'Neal was hit by the pitch. Fones got on base with an infield single, putting her in sole possession of Blue Ridge's career hit record.

To see the video, click on the following link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Si2SRYCXTwo.

After LeRoy scored its lone run on a solo homer in the fourth inning, Wheeler responded in the bottom half of the inning with a three-run homer to make the scored 9-1 in favor of the Lady Knights.

She scored Fones, who got on base with a bunt single, and Crawford, who hit a ground ball that forced Reynolds out at third base. Reynolds hit an RBI single that sent Jamison Brandt, who hit a single and took second base on a wild pitch, to home plate.

Wheeler also pitched a complete game to increase her record to 19-4. She threw nine strikeouts and allowed one run on two hits, including the solo home run.

With the nine strikeouts, Wheeler has 628 in her career with the Lady Knights. She is four shy of the school record, set by Ashley Elliott from 2005-08.

To see a video of one of her strikeouts, click on the following link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HrKh6Zst5QU.

In the bottom of the fifth inning, Reynolds' two-out, three-run dinger to center field clinched the game for Blue Ridge. She sent Hannah Mattingly, who hit a double to center field, and Morgan Delaney, who was running for Jamison Brandt after she walked, to home plate.

With the win, Blue Ridge improves to 25-5 and advances to the LeRoy Regional semifinals. The Lady Knights will face Gibson City-Melvin Sibley on Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. in LeRoy.

In their previous meeting against the Lady Falcons, Illinois State-bound Regan Romshek shut them out on four hits and two walks and struck out eight Blue Ridge batters en route to a 2-0 GCMS victory.

Schroeder said his Lady Knights should have a chance to beat the Lady Falcons this time around.

"As long as we're hitting and playing decent defense, we can beat anybody," Schroeder said. "I hope the season doesn't end too soon. If it does, it would be an injustice to the way these kids have played."

However, the No. 9-ranked Lady Knights will be facing a Lady Falcons team that is ranked No. 8 in the Illinois Coaches Association poll. If they win, they will likely face the No. 2-ranked Tri-Valley Lady Vikings for the regional championship.

"Two of us gotta lose," Schroeder said. "Hopefully, it won't be us."

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.