Lady Falcons get big hits from Lewis, Whittington in nine-inning victory over Hardin County at Sectional
Kaity Lewis (#11) runs home with the winning run after a hit by Allie Whittington (left). (Doug Daniels Photo)
By Doug Daniels
1351sports.com / elveradosports.com
May 22, 2018
(Goreville, Ill.) - Three days after helping the Lady Falcons to their first regional title since 2013, Kaity Lewis and Allie Whittington played heroes once again in Tuesday's Sectional semifinal in Goreville, providing the two hits that resulted in a 1-0 walk-off victory for Elverado over Hardin County in 9 innings.
"Allie is a huge part of our team but the other eight in the lineup also do their jobs," said EHS head coach Donette Wheatley. "Kaity has sparked the team several games with a big hit, and she pulled through for us again tonight. Morgan (Cashion) had two hits tonight and she knocked a ground ball down with runners on second and third which took a great bounce toward Tori (Ehlers), who hustled after it to tag first to get the third out and keep them scoreless."
With two runners on and one out in the top of the ninth, Whittington had to pitch her way out of a rare jam, doing so with a strikeout and a ground ball to second base. Morgan Cashion, the Elverado second baseman, dove at the ball to knock it down, then first baseman Tori Ehlers recovered and beat the Hardin County runner, Jesikka Ratliff, to the bag.
In the bottom of the inning, Lewis led off and singled to right and advanced all the way to third on an error. Whittington followed with a base hit to bring her home and send Elverado into the championship game on Saturday against Sectional host Goreville at 11 a.m.
"Knowing (Cashion) went hard for the ball (in the top of the ninth), knocked it down, then Tori went even harder after it, it shows how much work we've put into everything we do," said Whittington. "I knew I wanted to end the game (in the ninth), I was starting to get tired pitching. I was making sure she didn't throw me off-balance with a change-up, just waiting back and ready to hit it."
On the other side of the ball, Whittington was dominant, as usual. She struck out 16, walked 3 and gave up just three hits in securing her 22nd victory of the year.
"She's been doing it all year for us," Wheatley said. "She's averaging over 12 strikeouts a game. She's done a hell of a job for us this season."
Lewis (1-4, R), Whittington (2-4, RBI) and Elizabeth Schafer (1-3, 2B) had hits for the Lady Falcons (23-5), who will go toe to toe with the defending Class 1A State champion Goreville Lady Blackcats (23-10) this Saturday, with the winner moving on to Tuesday's Super-Sectional.
"We know they're good, and we know (Lexi) King can throw the ball," Wheatley said. "She's hittable. We can't do what we did today against them, because they hit the ball well also. I hope Allie keeps her composure, the rest of the team doesn't get shook up, because (Goreville) has been here before. This is only the third time we've got to this point of the ball game in the playoffs."
Photos and Video by Doug Daniels / ElveradoSports.com
The first nine outs for Whittington in the pitching circle; and the two hits that gave Elverado the victory in the ninth inning. (Doug Daniels Video)