Lady Patriots beat Butler 5-4 to win the SW4A Conference Tournament

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The Independence High School girls varsity softball team topped the Lady Bulldogs from Butler in a highly competitive ball game.  Just a week ago Butler shut-out Indy at home 4-0 to win the conference championship.  The two teams are as even as they can possibly be on the softball diamond.  They have now split 4 games this season in head to head competition splitting 2 regular season games, Butler winning the conference championship game at Indy, and now Independence returning the favor by winning the conference tournament on Butlers home field.  Independence won three games in a row against tournament competition to win the title. The Patriots overall record is 17-4, 11-2 in the conference, while Butler is 16-7 overall, and 11-2 in conference.

Indy’s Leah Renn hurling a strike out pitch.

In the first inning Indy took a 1-0 lead when Sarah Smith lead-off with an infield single, stole second base, and reached third base on a passed ball.  She scored on a ground out to deep shortstop scoring the first run of the game.

Brianna Grant smacking a single for Indy.

In the second and third innings all remained calm as both teams went down quietly with Butler getting their first base hit off of Indy starter Leah Renn.

In the top of the 4th inning Kendall Anderson lead-off with a single, then Huntleigh Williams followed with another base hit, Brianna Grant would fly-out to right, and Olivia Pauldin worked a base on balls to load up the bases.  Leah Renn followed with a sacrice fly for the RBI, and Anna Easter lined a single for another RBI giving Indy a 3-0 lead.

Coaches Amanda Larry and Lauren Galvani talking with their team after the big win.

In the bottom half of the 4th inning Butler had runners on second and third with two outs and Renn would strike out a Bulldog batter on a 3-2 pitch to end the threat.

However, after the Patriots went down in order in the top of the 5th, with two outs McKenzie Silva walked on four pitches, Makayla Cuthbertson smacked a double to score Silva who was hustling around the bases with two outs, then the next batter followed with an RBI single, Paige Jacky smacked a triple to tie the game at 3-3, however, she was stranded on third base.  Indy starter Leah Renn had only given up two hits up this point in the game, and should have worked herself out of the inning with giving up only one earned run.  However, a long fly ball was hit to center field and was dropped for an error to extend the inning for the Bulldogs.

We are the Champions!

The Patriots bounced back scoring 2 runs of their own when Huntleigh Williams singled, Brianna Grant followed with another base hit, and Olivia Pauldin drilled a single to right, but Williams did not get a good read on the ball and held up so the bases were loaded instead of scoring from second for the go ahead run.  Leah Renn hit a sacrifice fly to center field scoring Williams.  Abrianna Berry worked a walk on a 3-2 pitch to load the bases, then Jaylin Adkins hit an RBI single scoring the second run extending Indy’s lead to 5-3.  In the bottom of the 6th inning Butler went down stranding a runner on first base.

In the top of the 7th inning Independence went down in order.  In the bottom half Butler put a big scare into the Patriots with a rally of their own.  The Bulldogs Makayla Cuthbertson tripled to right, followed by a double in the gap cutting the Indy lead to only one run with a runner on second and no outs recorded.  After a discussion on the mound with Indy coach Amanda Larry, the pitcher Kayla Douglas was able to retire the next three batters.  She would strike out the last batter on a call third strike to end the game and secure the victory giving Independence the tournament title with a 5-4 win over their arch rival.

Both local teams are heading into the playoffs next week, so let’s see if fate will lead to a rubber game match-up for their fifth meeting of the season.

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Ed Berti
Ed is retired and remains active as a freelance writer, local journalist and independent contractor. He is engaged in print and electronic media writing stories covering business, sports, hometown news and veteran's affairs including articles of interest to various media outlets. Ed is a graduate of Wagner College where he earned an MBA and holds a BBA from Pace University.
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