Lady Warriors walk-it off and into sectional semifinals

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Lady Warriors walk-it off and into sectional semifinals

Photo by TRAVIS DAVID | The North Knox softball team is all smiles after Javen Miller (No. 24) hit a game-winning RBI single in the bottom of the seventh inning Monday night against Eastern Greene. Miller had two hits in the sectional win.
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VERNE — Javen Miller thought her teammate was going to win the game for the North Knox softball team Monday night.


It didn’t happen.


But Miller did.


The Lady Warrior lined the game-winning RBI single to leftfield in the bottom of the seventh inning for the walk-off win in the Class 2A South Knox Sectional opener over Eastern Greene.


With the thrilling 5-4 win, the Lady Warriors advance to Tuesday’s sectional semifinal against Mitchell, who received a first-round bye.


Miller nearly hit a home run earlier in the game and felt good about her final at-bat.


“I just went up there with confidence and told myself that I could do it,” Miller said of the game-winner. “I just knew that I needed to come through for my teammates.”


Ally Crist raced home from second base with the winning run. Miller wasn’t sure if her hit was good enough to win the game.


“I just put my head down and started running,” she said. “I was crossing my fingers a little bit and when I realized she had scored I got really excited because we just won our first sectional game.”


Crist led off the inning with a single and moved into scoring position on a wild pitch.


Miller scored the first run of the game in the fourth inning on an RBI single by Graci LeRoy. Miller narrowly left the yard as she drilled a double high off the fence in left centerfield.


The momentum would be short-lived as the T-Birds responded in the top of the fifth. A one-out hit batter was followed by four consecutive hits which produced four runs.


But the Warriors became aggressive on the basepaths in the last of the fifth and pulled even.


Baylee McClure was plunked by a pitch to start the fifth-inning rally and moved to second on a wild pitch. Crist reached on a fielding error while McClure alertly raced home on the throw to first.


Malli Lyons legged out a bunt single which moved Crist to third. While noticing the defense had not called time and was paying no attention to her, Crist raced home on the play pulling the Warriors to within 4-3.


After Mattilynn Ashley reached base on a fielding error, Lyons scored the tying run on a groundout off the bat of LeRoy.


“Being aggressive on the bases is huge for us,” Warriors’ first-year coach Emily Carroll said of the fifth-inning rally. “We want to put pressure on and force them into making plays which is something we were not doing much of in the first four innings.”


Crist worked around a two-out single in the top of the sixth and a two-out walk in the seventh to give the Warriors a chance at the walk-off win.


“I knew they could do it, I never doubted them,” Carroll said of the comeback. “They just needed to find it within themselves and they did it perfectly. I am just so proud of all of them and excited to see what we can do tomorrow night.”


North Knox’s Ally Crist tosses a pitch to the plate against Eastern Greene on Monday.
Crist allowed just two five hits in the complete-game win.


Crist pitched a complete game for the win and scattered just five hits.


“Ally pitched an amazing game and was locked in,” the Warriors’ coach said of her ace. “After the fifth inning she just never gave up.”


Both teams finished with five hits.


The win marked a season-best five straight wins, improving to 13-8 on the season.


First pitch between the Lady Warriors and Mitchell is slated for 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday.


No. 5 ranked Sullivan will take on Linton-Stockton in Tuesday’s second semifinal.


The Lady Arrows survived the upset bid of the host Spartans in Monday’s second game while the Miners received the bye.

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