NEW MADISON – Tri-Village scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh inning Tuesday evening to defeat state-ranked Newton 6-5.
Newton entered Tuesday’s Cross County Conference game ranked 10th in Division IV by the Ohio High School Fastpitch Softball Coaches Association, but Tri-Village was able to manufacture enough runs to get the victory.
“I think we played really well,” Tri-Village softball coach Tracy Barhorst said. “We came back, and they fought, and we played as a team, and we did things together.”
Tri-Village led for most of the game as the Patriots quickly took a 1-0 lead in the first inning. Kloey Murphey led off the bottom of the first with a single and later scored on a RBI single by Payge Malott.
The score remained 1-0 until the fifth inning when Newton’s offense rallied for five runs with two outs. Kristen Rappold hit a two-run single to put Newton up 2-1. Kacie Tackett then drove in a run to make it 3-1, and two runs scored when Tri-Village dropped a fly ball by Haley Pack, putting the visitors up 5-1.
“We did have one bad inning, but we let it go,” Barhorst said. “And that’s what helped us.”
Tri-Village was able to move past its troubles and scored three runs in the bottom half of the inning.
Murphey tripled to drive in Rachel Miller then Shelby Holzapfel bunted to bring in Murphey, making it a 5-3 game. After a double by Allie Downing, Andi Bietry hit a RBI single to drive in another run and reduce the deficit to 5-4.
“Hitting is contagious, and if everybody does their job we do fine,” Barhorst said. “And we played small ball a little bit. Everybody got on base and did their job.”
In the bottom of the seventh Tri-Village rallied to win the game.
Trisa Porter started the rally with a leadoff single, and Downing singled to put two runners on base.
After Newton got a strikeout for the first out of the inning, both runners stole. The attempted pickoff throw to third went into left field, which allowed Madi Foreman (Porter’s courtesy runner) to score, tying the game, and Downing to advance to third.
Danika Mann then came up and laid down a bunt, which allowed Downing to score the game-winning run.
“We practice these things all year,” Barhorst said. “We practice laying the bunt down. We practice getting excited and getting crazy on the bases, and they did a great job of that.”
Tri-Village had nine hits and four errors on Tuesday while Newton had four hits and four errors.
Downing was 2-for-3 with a double and two runs, including the game-winner. Murphey went 2-for-3 with a triple, a walk, a stolen base, a RBI and two runs. Bietry was 1-for-2 with a walk, a stolen base and a RBI.
Malott was 1-for-2 with a walk and a RBI. Mann was 1-for-3 with a walk and a RBI. Miller was 1-for-3 and scored a run. Porter was 1-for-4. Foreman stole a base and scored a run. Holzapfel drove in a run.
Porter pitched the complete game, allowing five unearned runs on four hits, three walks and two strikeouts.
Kyle Shaner may be reached at 937-569-4316. Follow me on Twitter @KShanerAdvocate or get updates on Facebook by searching Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com.