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Lady Pioneers snap losing streak
Emily Mikkola

The Lady Pioneers finally overcame their struggles in close games Saturday. Warren County topped Ravenwood 1-0, ending a three-game losing streak where the team lost by one run each time.

Ashton Whiles and Madison Hollis combined for a shutout as the Lady Pioneers evened their record at 4-4-1. Whiles picked up the win, going four innings before Hollis entered and shut down the Lady Raptors.

The pitchers threw the ball great today and the defense played outstanding.
WCHS softball coach Gooby Martin

Emily Mikkola proved to be the winning run in the fourth inning. The senior shortstop singled to start the inning, then scored on a sacrifice fly by Elia Atterson. It was one just three hits for the Lady Pioneers - Rhealee Johnson and Calyn Damon also added singles.

The lack of offense was a concern for WCHS coach Gooby Martin, who watched his team bash its way to a district championship last year.

"To get where we want to go, we have to swing the bats," said Martin. "We have to have better approaches. The girls we had last year hit the ball. At the top of the lineup now, we're not making adjustments.

"It's something we have to work on. We have to get better offensively to have a chance to win district games."

Warren County is set to start its title defense Tuesday at White County.

Mikkola, who is carrying a .333 average, was happy to snap the losing streak and hopes it carries into this week's action.

"Even if it was just by one run, I think it's a big confidence booster going into district play," said Mikkola. "We have to continue to focus on defense - it's working for us - and focus on offense."

The few times the Lady Pioneers needed a play behind their dominant pitching, the defense delivered.

Grace Rains came up with a game-changing double play in the third inning. With runners on second and third and just one out, Ravenwood looked to strike first with a fly ball into right field. 

Rains settled under the ball and came up firing for home. MaKenna Mason was able to apply the tag on the sliding runner, keeping the game tied 0-0.

Warren County didn't get a hit until the fourth inning, when Mikkola ripped a shot through the middle. Whiles followed with a walk, while Johnson reached base on a looping single over third base.

With the bases juiced and one out, Atterson was able to hit a towering shot into centerfield. Mikkola scored with ease, but Johnson was caught trying to take second to end the inning.

It proved to be the only offense Warren County needed. Hollis, a freshman, rarely ran into trouble, retiring the last eight batters she faced to earn the save.

See photos from Saturday's action on the Standard Facebook page.