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RIVERSIDE - The Snake River Lady Panthers staved off elimination Wednesday afternoon as they downed the American Falls Beavers 4-0 behind the pitching and hitting of sophomore Alyssa DeLaney. The win set up the championship game against the Bear Lake Lady Bears who scored a pair of runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to send the Lady Panthers to a play in game on Saturday by a score of 4-3.
DeLaney was hooked up in a pitchers duel, as Snake River and American Falls defenses kept putting up zeroes on the scoreboard through the first three innings of play.
In the top of the fourth, Macy Martin laced a one out single to center bringing DeLaney to the plate. DeLaney promptly stroked a double to right center. DeLaneyâ€™s double was followed by another double off the bat of Cassie Albertson and Snake River held a 2-0 lead.
â€śAlyssa really came to play today,â€ť said Coach Kay Martin. â€śShe was throwing strikes and came up with a big hit in the fourth inning which helped lead us to victory.â€ť
Chelsea Martin stroked a single to left and after a fly out to right by Courtney Steinbaugh, catcher Bailey Simper drove the ball to the fence, scoring both Albertson and Martin, and pushing the score to 4-0 in favor of the Lady Panthers.
Meanwhile, DeLaney kept putting up zeroes on the scoreboard aided by some solid defense behind her. Stellar plays in the field were made by Albertson at second, Steinbaugh at short and Martin in left that helped to keep the Beavers off the board.
For the game, DeLaney allowed five hits, no runs and struck out five American Falls hitters on her way to the complete game victory.
The win moved the Lady Panthers to the championship game against the Bear Lake Lady Bears the top seed in the tournament.
The two teams matched each other with solid defense and pitching and through four and a half innings the game was scoreless, although the Lady Panthers had out hit their opponents six to four.
In the bottom of the fifth, Bear Lake pushed a run across the plate to take the lead 1-0. The Lady Bears lead off hitter reached base via a throwing error and moved to second on the play. A bunt resulted in the first out of the inning, but the runner moved to third on the play and then scored on a fly out to left, although it appeared that Chelsea Martinâ€™s throw was in time to nail the runner at the plate.
Bear Lake scored another run in the bottom of the sixth inning, again scoring an unearned run when Snake Riverâ€™s Chelsea Martin and Macy Martin collided when going for the fly ball. As the Lady Panthers came to bat in the top of the seventh, they were on the wrong end of a 2-0 score.
Snake River used a couple of errors and a walk to load the bases for Courtney Steinbaugh who got the bat on the ball which went right to the pitcher who threw home for the first out.
Simper then reached base on an error by the second baseman, scoring the Lady Panthers first run.
Chelsee Allen then stroked a double to the fence in right center field, scoring a pair of runs and giving the Lady Panthers the lead at 3-2.
In the bottom of the seventh, the Lady Bears used a pair of walks to put runners on first and second with two outs and their clean up hitter drilled a ball to the fence for a triple, clearing the bases for the 4-3 win.
â€śI canâ€™t say enough about the heart that we showed in this tournament,â€ť said Coach Martin. â€śThe girls battled in each game and if we had gotten a break here or there we would have been the champions.â€ť
The loss moves the Lady Panthers to a play in game with District 6 on Saturday at 1:00 pm at OK ball park in Pocatello. The winner of that game will advance on to the state tournament.