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Fleming offense leads way in comeback win over Rowan

June 29, 2014
By Brad Laux of 1016sports

Tuesday, Apr. 22 -- The Fleming County softball team spotted arch rival and eighth-ranked Rowan County (12-9) leads of 5-0 and 7-2 over the first two innings, before rallying to score six runs over the final five frames en route to a 9-8 home victory on Tuesday.

The Lady Panthers capped off the comeback with two outs in the bottom of the seventh and the score tied at 8-8 when Cristi Petersen’s triple to right-center field plated Tori Ishmael for the winning run. The result snapped a nine-game district win streak for the Lady Vikings, who would have sealed the district regular-season title with a victory.

Both teams struggled pitching, including Fleming County (5-10), which put five batters on base in the top of the first inning either by walks or being hit by a pitch. Kendra Holbrook capped off the five-run Lady Viking first with a grand slam over the fence in left-center field, just the second home run of her varsity career. The Lady Panthers added a pair of runs in the bottom of the first to cut into the margin, but then surrendered two more to the visitors, courtesy of a two-RBI single from Holbrook, in the top of the second.

One thing with which Fleming County did not have trouble was offense. The Lady Panthers piled up 14 hits, including four doubles and Petersen’s triple.

The hosts closed the gap to 7-5 after scoring twice off four hits in the bottom of the third inning. They took the lead in the next stanza courtesy of four more hits that led to three runs.

Rowan County tied the score in the top of the fifth after scoring on Allie Banks’ two-out single.

Despite struggling for much of the early part of the game, Megan Claypoole settled down and held the Lady Vikings to just one run on three hits over the final five innings to earn the win. She surrendered seven earned runs on seven hits, while striking out six in seven innings of work. Reliever Morgan Mitchell suffered the loss, pitching four and two-thirds innings and allowing six runs (all earned) on 10 hits. She also struck out five.

Seven of the nine Lady Panther batters registered at least one hit, with Haley McIntyre and Cheyenne Wright each leading the way with a 3-for-4, three-RBI performance. Petersen also finished 3-for-4 at the plate, falling just a homer away from hitting for the cycle.

Holbrook paced Rowan County with a 2-for-3, six-RBI outing. Lyndsey Wilson went 2-for-2 and reached base in all four of her plate appearances.

The Lady Panthers were without head coach Nathan Ryver for the game. He recently underwent knee surgery and assistant Mike Ishmael took his place on Tuesday.

Fleming County stays at home to host Menifee County on Thursday at 5:30 p.m.

Rowan County       5 2 0 0 1 0 0 – 8  7 2
Fleming County     2 1 2 3 0 0 1 – 9 14 4


Pre-game notes: No. 8 Rowan County (12-8/4-0) softball will try to defend its 61st District regular-season title when it travels to meet Fleming County (4-10/1-1) at 5:30 p.m. The Lady Vikings will also be looking for their second straight season sweep of their arch rivals, after defeating the Lady Panthers 3-0 five days ago in Morehead. Rowan has won the last three meetings in the series, including capturing a 12-3 road win on May 1, 2013, and a 5-4 home victory on Apr. 8, 2013. Fleming last defeated the Lady Vikings in 2012 when they won all three contests between the two, including capturing a 3-2 win in the district tournament championship game. The Lady Panthers last home win over the Lady Vikings came on Apr. 12, 2012, in a 4-3 decision. The last time the Green and White dropped a district contest was on Apr. 4, 2013, a 2-0, seven-inning decision at Menifee County. Since then the Lady Vikings have won nine straight against foes from the 61st. Rowan enters today’s contest fresh off a 10-0, five-inning home win over Mason County yesterday. The victory snapped a three-game skid the team accrued while competing at the Corbin Lady Redhound Softball Classic Friday and Saturday. The Lady Vikings are 3-6 away from home this season, posting just a 1-6 road mark in their last seven outings. Fleming has dropped its past four contests and six of its last eight, including last night’s 8-3 home defeat at the hands of No. 3 Bourbon County. The Lady Panthers are 1-2 at home this spring, with their only other Flemingsburg-based contests coming on Apr. 2 (a 20-0, four-inning win over Robertson County) and on Apr. 8 (a 9-5 shortfall against Harrison County). Including last night and tonight, Fleming County is in the midst of a four-game home stand.

See Videos: Fleming County junior second baseman Cristi Petersen, Fleming County interim head coach Mike Ishmael, Rowan County coach Larry Slone.

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