Jordyn Fones' Record-Tying Hit Sends Blue Ridge Softball to HOIC Semifinals

Due to technical difficulties, the original post accidentally disappeared from this blog. The following is a re-typed and updated version of my recap of Wednesday's Heart of Illinois Conference quarterfinal game between Blue Ridge and Tremont.

DOWNS, Ill. -- With a duel on the mound brewing between Ali Meeks and Jordan Wheeler and the game tied 1-1 in the bottom of the seventh inning, it would have seemed fitting for Wheeler to get the game-winning RBI.

That's what Jordyn Fones was thinking as she stepped up to the plate with two outs and Marcie Crawford on second base.

"I just wanted to get a base hit to led Jordan hit," Fones said. "She was really wanting to hit and get on. Going up to that, I was 0-for-3 for the game, so I was really nervous."

Of course, when you're batting .521 and one hit shy of Blue Ridge's career hits record, 0-for-3 simply means you're due. Fones lined a 3-1 pitch to left field to drive in Crawford, giving the Lady Knights a 2-1 win and setting up an HOIC semifinal matchup with Fieldcrest.

"I just kept battling up there, and as soon as I had that hit, it felt really good," Fones said. "I just want to say good job to the team for sticking together. It was tough going through that, but we pulled it out. I think we're playing our best right now."

Fones' hit was the 161st of her career, putting her in a tie for the school record with Jessica Forrest.

"I've been working for that during my four years," Fones said. "To be able to tie with at least three more games in the season, that just makes me feel good. I'm proud to leave my mark."

The win improves Blue Ridge's record to 24-5. As the winning pitcher, Wheeler sees her record increase to 18-4.

She struck out 15 batters and allowed one unearned run on three hits and no walks. Taking the loss for Tremont, Meeks struck out nine batters and allowed two runs on five hits. 

After Tremont scored the game's first run in the third inning, Melinda Wilson (seen in the above photo congratulating Wheeler on one of her strikeouts) scored the tying run in the fourth.

After hitting a single, she successfully attempted to steal second base. After the Tremont catcher's throw to second landed in center field, Wilson ran to home plate.

Liz Cordes led off the bottom of the seventh inning with a walk. Crawford hit a ground ball that resulted in a fielder's choice that forced Cordes out at second base.

Hannah Mattingly sent Crawford to second with a sacrifice bunt, setting up Fones' game-winning RBI.

With the 2-1 win, Blue Ridge now faces Fieldcrest. In their previous meeting last Friday, the Lady Knights gave Fieldcrest five unearned runs en route to a 5-3 home loss.

Fieldcrest almost suffered the same fate on Wednesday, as they fell behind via numerous errors in their HOIC quarterfinal matchup against Heyworth. However, Fieldcrest erased an 8-7 seventh-inning deficit to force extra innings and won the game 9-8 in the eighth inning.

Joust II will take place on Tri-Valley's "The Hill" on Saturday at 10 a.m. The winner will play against the winner of Tri-Valley/GCMS for the HOIC tournament championship at 6 p.m. and the loser will play in the third-place game at 4 p.m.

In case you didn't see the links to my videos of the Tremont/Blue Ridge game on my blog before they were erased, here they are:




The Knights were scheduled to play on Thursday in the HOIC quarterfinals at Heyworth.

The game, however, was postponed for Friday at 4:30 p.m. in Tri-Valley.

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