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Lane powers Lady Pioneers to victory
Monica Lane pitched a complete-game shutout to help the Lady Pioneers improve to 18-12 with a 3-0 win over Franklin County. - photo by Jeff Simmons

If you hear the Black Eyed Peas playing after a Warren County High School softball game, odds are the Lady Pioneers are celebrating.
The Lady Pioneers have made it a habit of dancing in right field to the song “Dirty Bit,” and Monday was no different as Warren County celebrated a 3-0 alumni night win over the Franklin County Rebelettes.
Sophomore Monica Lane pitched a complete-game shutout and Sarah Jacobs, Taylor Grissom and Morgan Frye all had RBIs as Warren County picked up its 18th win of the season.
Monday night had a special ceremony prior to the game, as the Lady Pioneer booster club welcomed back former members of the program for the first alumni night.
Over 30 players, including three from the inaugural 1984 Lady Pioneer softball team, were honored on the field prior to the Lady Pioneers facing off with Franklin County.
After the celebration, the former Lady Pioneers were treated to a spectacular outing by Lane. The sophomore went all seven innings, scattering five hits while surrendering no runs and striking out three. Coach David Upton thought it was the best he has seen Lane pitch.
“Monica did an outstanding job for us in the circle,” said Upton. “It’s the best I’ve seen her pitch in the two years she’s been with us.”
It didn’t take long for Warren County to provide Lane with run support. The Lady Pioneers loaded the bases in the first inning as Lauren Wilkinson opened the game with a walk and was followed by another free pass to Lindsey Rowland.
After Lane was retired, Grissom reached base on a fielder’s choice to load the bases. Jacobs brought Wilkinson around without taking the bat off her shoulders. Jacobs drew a walk, giving Warren County a 1-0 lead.
After Lane battled out of a jam in the second inning, a big error by Franklin County and clutch hitting by Grissom expanded the Lady Pioneer lead.
Rowland led off the third inning with a slow roller to third base. In an attempt to throw out Warren County’s speedy center fielder, the Rebelette third basemen threw the ball into right field. Rowland advanced all the way to third on the throw, giving Warren County a great scoring opportunity.
Grissom brought Rowland around with a single up the middle on a 2-2 pitch. It was Grissom’s 14th RBI of the season, which is third on the team.
Lane got some great defensive play in the fifth inning to preserve her third shutout. After giving up a lead-off single, Lane retired the next batter. She wasn’t as fortunate with the next batter, as the Rebelette batter doubled into deep center field.
With runners on second and third and one out, coach Upton drew his infield in. The ball was hit to Grissom at first base, who immediately checked the runner at third.
After Grissom was able to force the runner back to third, she noticed the runner at second had nearly reached third base. Grissom alertly ran at the Franklin County player, while also keeping an eye on the runner at third.
Franklin County’s coach had no choice but sacrifice her runner at third as Grissom ran the Rebelettes into a corner. By the time the runner advancing to second made her way to third, Franklin County’s coach sent the runner at third home.
Grissom tossed the ball to Jacobs at third, who then threw to Frye at home. Frye eventually would make the runner turn back to third, where she was tagged out by Grissom.
The play energized the Lady Pioneers, who got out of the inning unscathed when Wilkinson snagged a lazy pop fly by the next batter.
Frye came through with an insurance run in the bottom of the fifth when her single scored Grissom. Grissom, who went 2-for-4, began the inning with a double.
Leading 3-0, Lane had little trouble wrapping up her fifth win. The Lady Pioneers flashed the leather once again to end the game, as Lauren Crothers and Wilkinson teamed up to turn a double play to end the game.
Warren County had hoped to carry its momentum into Tuesday night when the Lady Pioneers were scheduled to complete their District 6-AAA schedule in White County. The game was rained out however, forcing the teams to reschedule.
The game will now be played tonight in White County at 6 p.m.