(Editor update: After press time Saturday, Warren County snapped its losing streak with a win over Ravenwood.)
By the end of the season, the Lady Pioneers will have plenty of experience playing in crunch time. Turning it into wins may take some time.
Warren County was edged 7-6 by Shelbyville Thursday night, its third one-run loss in a row.
“It was a tough loss,” said coach Gooby Martin. “We had a chance. We’re just not getting the clutch hits. They’ll come. We keep battling - we have four losses by a combined five runs.”
The Lady Pioneers looked poised to break their string of close losses Thursday. Warren County carried a 5-4 lead into the seventh, but Shelbyville stormed back.
The Lady Eagles plated three runs, two coming on a throwing error, to take a two-run lead entering the final frame.
In typical fashion, the Lady Pioneers wouldn’t go away quietly.
Ashton Whiles ripped a double down the left-field line to start the seventh. Rhealee Johnson joined her teammate on the basepaths when she was hit by a pitch, putting the tying run aboard.
Madison Hollis continued to spark the team, delivering an RBI single into centerfield. Whiles scored from second to make it 7-6 and the Lady Pioneers had two on with no out.
Bad luck struck during Elia Atterson’s at-bat. The sophomore ripped a shot down the line, but it was snagged by the Shelbyville third baseman. She stepped on third and threw to first, turning a double play.
Any chance of late-game heroics ended when the trying run was left on second follow game-ending strikeout.
Sadie Simmons took the loss, pitching two-plus innings and giving up three runs on four hits. Johnson pitched into the fifth inning, striking out four while surrendering four hits and four runs.
Johnson also made a diving catch to end the sixth inning, saving two runs and keeping the Lady Pioneers ahead at the time.
Atterson and Calyn Damon tied fior the team high with two hits each. Grace Rains added an RBI single in the fourth, breaking a 2-2 tie.
Hailey Wood started the game with a triple and scored to give Warren County an early 1-0 lead. Wood added an RBI in the fourth, when Warren County went ahead 5-2.
Emily Mikkola was robbed on a pair of hard-hit shots, but still managed to drive in two runs.
The Lady Pioneers will start district play Tuesday in White County. Warren County is set to face the Warriorettes in Sparta at 5 p.m.