After failing to plate a runner through seven innings against East Carter, South Warren used a walk-off steal of home plate in the eighth inning to take a 1-0 decision over the Raiders Friday afternoon in the KHSAA Softball State Tournament at Jack C. Fisher Park.
Katie Conley, a senior, got a leadoff single in the bottom of the eighth before stealing second base on a strikeout. She advanced to third base on a groundout to second. Shelby Nunn walked to put runners on the corners for the Spartans.
Spartans Coach Chris Riggs observed during Nunn’s at-bat that there might be enough lag time for Conley to get away with a delayed steal of home if she put herself far away enough from third. After watching the first pitch to four-hole hitter Maddie Daugherty, Riggs told Conley to go on the next one.
“I said, ‘Let’s do it on this one, I think you can do it,’” Riggs said.
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Conley got out as far as she could and said the catcher wasn’t paying attention after the second pitch to Daugherty. “So I just took off,” she said. “I just darted to the plate as fast as I could cause I knew I had to score this run for my team.”
East Carter pitcher Montana Fouts attempted a throw to home but it went over the head of catcher Caroline Young. It was a sour note on which to end for Fouts, who struck out 15 batters and gave up just five hits.
East Carter left 11 runners on base, at least one in every regulation inning. The Raiders stranded three in the top of the sixth and two in the top of the seventh; South Warren intentionally walked a batter in each inning.
South Warren set up a winner’s bracket semifinal matchup with Male at 3 p.m. CST Friday. East Carter dropped into the loser’s bracket, where it was set to meet the winner between Boyle County and Harrison County at 1 p.m. EST.
BOX SCORE: South Warren 1, East Carter 0 (8)