EDINBURGH — Heading into Wednesday night’s sectional final, the Edinburgh softball team had scored 28 runs during a two-game span while surrendering none.
While the Lancers couldn’t keep Southwestern (Shelby) off the board, they did add 10 more runs en route to a sectional championship.
After allowing the Spartans to score a run in the first inning, the Lancers held them scoreless until the seventh, while piling on 10 runs of their own in a 10-4 home-field victory.
Southwestern started off with three hits and the first run the Lancers have surrendered in three games in the top of the first.
“I told the girls the same thing I have told them all year — ‘When we are on defense, keep the ball in front of you and keep it clean,’” Edinburgh coach Stephen Clark said.
The Lancers (12-10) heard their coach’s message, loud and clear, putting forth an outstanding defensive effort led by a complete game from pitcher Maddi Clark. The Spartans finished with 13 hits but failed to score again until the seventh.
One example of the outstanding defensive play came in the fourth. A foul ball down the third-base line seemed out of reach for any Edinburgh defender, except for a high-flying Megan Rooks. Rooks hustled from her spot in left field to make a outstretched catch for the first out.
The Lancers also had 13 hits but took advantage of Southwestern defensive miscues and smart baserunning.
Kayla Beier got the scoring started for Edinburgh in the bottom of the third with a two-run single. That sparked a three-inning stretch in of scoring for Edinburgh, culminating with four run fourth and fifth innings expanding the Lancer lead to 10-1.
Bri Howard finished with three singles and two RBIs for Edinburgh. Bailey Woodall also had two RBIs.
“This team has shown glimpses all year in their ability to hit the ball,” Stephen Clark said. “When they stay focused and stay smart in the box, they put up these kinds of games.”