North Shelby Wins Season Opener Over Knox County
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By David Sharp
North Shelby (1-0) collected run producing hits at critical times in their Tuesday, August 31, home opener for a 4-1 win over Knox County. The contest was moved to North Shelby from Knox County due to wet grounds.
Chesnie Robbins hit a home run over the center field fence with one out in the first inning.
Daniela Dooley reached on an error. KC advanced the runners to second and third base. Natalie Thrasher kept the Lady Eagles (0-1) at bay, inducing inning ending ground ball outs with no scoring.
The Lady Raiders had a good second inning scoring chance. Freshman Addy Uhlmeyer drew a leadoff walk from Dooley. Ceairra Kirby reached on an error. The batters moved up on a ground out to the right side of the diamond.
A fly ball to left fielder Taylor Walker ended the inning. NS held their one run lead through two innings. Robbins continued her hot hitting with a third inning one out triple. Thrasher plated Robbins with a base hit.
Uhlmeyer delivered a two out RBI hit for a 3-0 Lady Raider lead. Jen Hinkle threw a North Shelby runner out attempting to steal ending the inning.
Knox County threatened in the bottom of the third inning but failed to score. Savannah Schrage singled leading off the frame. Dooley delivered a two out hit. A pop out to catcher Marissa McEwen ended the threat.
The fourth inning was scoreless. Robbins delivered her third straight hit, driving Linberger home for a 4-0 Raider lead. “I had a long at bat. I just kept fouling them off, Robbins said talking about her first inning blast. “I had to wait for the right pitch.”
“It was right down the middle,” the Lady Raider junior said. “I was a little nervous,” Robbins said when asked about a seventh inning Knox County challenge. “I trusted (Whitney Snow) and our defense to be able to finish it.”
The Lady Eagles made two errors early in the game along with a couple of defensive plays that will likely be executed better as the season progresses. Agnes Reel pitched the final three innings with six strikeouts and one walk of scoreless, no hit relief.
Dooley led off the KC sixth inning with a hit. Brianna Miller drove Dooley home with a two out RBI hit.
“She is a good hitter,” Knox County coach Lauren Dale said when asked of the impact of Robbins’ first inning home run. “She had a good at bat. She won a good pitching matchup. It was the first inning of the game. We have to be able to overcome that.”
Meg Shively walked leading off the NS seventh inning. Two fly balls and a strikeout ended the inning with no runs scored. Whitney Snow relieved in the KC seventh inning.
Thrasher pitched the first six innings with nine strikeouts with no walks on six hits. Snow stuck out the first two Eagle batters seventh inning.
North Shelby scored four runs on five hits Robbins was 3-4 with two runs scored and two batted in. NS stranded five runners and KC eight.
“Whitney (Snow) came in solid,” North Shelby coach Donny Williams said. “I felt like we hit the ball hard. We hit the ball right at some people. In time, those will find the holes.”
‘I felt like we played solid all the way around,” Coach Williams said. “We are still learning some things. We are still learning positions. We will continue to grow and continue to hit the ball hard I hope.”