The Shelley softball team found themselves down early on the road Friday against Hillcrest, but the Russets would use a late-game surge to storm back and beat the Knights 15-8.
After taking a 1-0 lead through the first half-inning off a passed ball, the Russets would stumble themselves. Hillcrest would record five hits to go along with three Russet errors to take an early 4-1 lead through the first inning. The Knights (1-20) would add two more runs in the second inning to push their lead to 6-1.
But the Russets weren't about to back down.
Along with four walked batters, Shelley would notch six hits in the second inning to score nine runs. Kodie Dye, Kaitlyn Taylor, Ashley Hathaway, and Brooke Kidman would all record RBI's in the inning for the Russets.
After a scoreless fourth, Shelley would tack on some insurance runs thanks to Ashley and Lacy Hathaway. After an RBI double by Ashley to push the Shelley lead to 11-6, Lacy would launch an absolute bomb to right field, landing just before the fence. Originally supposed to be a triple, Lacy would secure the inside-the-park home run thanks to an errant throw, pushing the Blackfoot lead to 13-6.
Ashley Hathaway, Janelle Servoss would each have RBI singles in the sixth and seventh inning respectively to give Shelley their final two runs on the day.
Shining on the mound for the Russets Friday was Ashley Hathaway (6 IP, 3 ER, 3K). Coming in during the 2nd inning for Shelley, Hathaway would halt Hillcrest's momentum. After allowing two runs in the second inning, Hathaway wouldn't give up a hit until the seventh. Kodie Dye would pitch the first inning for Shelley.
"Ashley is the type of player that wherever you put her, she's going to give 100% and work her tail off for you. She does a lot of good things for us, whether it be at shortstop, outfield, pitching, and especially when she's on the bases….she's a smart player" said Shelley Head Coach Travis Perez.
The win is the second straight for Shelley, who beat Hillcrest on Thursday. That contest on Thursday was Shelley's senior night, as the Russets had four players (Kodie Dye, Ashley Hathaway, Celeste Davis, and Kaitlyn Taylor) suit up for their final home game. According to Coach Perez, it's the leadership from his senior bunch that he'll miss the most.
"On the field, off the field, all of that stuff, my seniors do a lot of good things for this program as far as leading the girls and making sure we're going in the right direction. When it's time to go to work, they're pretty quick to buckle down and get the job done."
Although Shelley hasn't had the best season (5-16, 4-6), the four wins in conference play are good enough to earn the Russets the four seed in the District Tournament. Shelley will face Skyline in the opening round of the District Tournament, a matchup that is very favorable for the Russets. Shelley swept the Grizzlies earlier this year. Although his team may have had success against Skyline during the regular season, Perez knows that advancing to the next round will take everything his team has.
"The biggest thing we have to do is play 'our' game. Eliminate the errors, eliminate the mistakes. And then just keep our bats going. These girls can hit well, and it's just a matter of them trusting themselves and doing it." said Perez.
What's next for Shelley?
When: Tuesday, May 7th at 3:30 p.m
Where: Blackfoot High School