Wednesday, 23 May 2018
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Holton & Royal Valley Softball Splits Regular Season Finale
By Mike Smith
Copyright: MSC Sports

The final tune-up before postseason had Jackson County rivals in Royal Valley and Holton taking on each other to wrap up the regular season and there was still plenty to play for in the Big Seven League between the two teams. At the end of the night the teams split with Holton winning game one 9-3 and Royal Valley taking game two 13-7. The game one win locked up the Big Seven League title for Holton this season. 

First game of the night saw Holton look to strike first but Royal Valley picked off a pair of runners in the top of the first to end the scoring threat and then a leadoff single by McKenzie Ogden and throwing error by Holton resulted in Royal Valley scoring a run in the bottom of the first to take the 1-0 lead. Holton answered in the bottom of the second to tie it at 1-1 and then with a sacrifice fly brought in another run in the third to take a 2-1 lead. A leadoff double by Ogden helped the Panthers tie the contest at 2-2 in the bottom of the third but Holton had a leadoff double by Jewel Lutz in the fourth that lead to a Wildcat run. Holton pushed the lead out in the fifth as Annalyss Phillips hit a solo home run and three more hits and an error score two more runs making it 6-2. Royal Valley got a run in the bottom of the fifth as Ogden had a single and scored again but Holton added some insurance in the seventh with two runs on four hits and snagged the 9-3 game one win. 

The win secured the Big Seven League title for the Holton Wildcats as Sarah Bond led the team inside the circle tossing all seven innings giving up three runs on seven hits, three walks and had eight strikeouts. Savanna Booth and Lutz led the Holton offense each going 3-4 as Holton recorded 14 hits as a team. Lutz had a double with two runs scored and two RBI's, while Bailey Flewelling, Ally Beard and Kinleigh Rhodd each had two-hits. 

Royal Valley in the loss was led by Ogden as she was 3-3 with three runs scored with a walk, while Emily Albright added a two-hit game. 

Game two Holton took an early 1-0 lead scoring on two Royal Valley first inning errors but the Panthers answered in a big way in the bottom of the first. Batting around in the bottom of the first Royal Valley scored six runs on six-hits, a Holton error and two walks with a three-run home run by Eryn Daugherty leading the charge. A Danielle Stithem RBI double added another run for Royal Valley in the second and the Panthers led 7-1. Holton cut into the lead by sending eight to the plate in the third and scored three all with two-outs. Royal Valley again answered scoring two in the bottom of the third to make it 9-4 after three innings. In the fourth Royal Valley extend their lead with a solo home run by Mae Joslin and then scored two more runs and added another in the sixth, while Holton scored three in the sixth including getting a two RBI double by Abbygayle Boeckman but the Wildcats went down in order in the seventh and Royal Valley won 13-7. 

Royal Valley in the win had Mae Joslin earn the win in the circle tossing seven innings giving up seven runs on nine hits, two walks and struck out four and went 3-4 at the plate with a home run. Ogden went 3-5 with a double, two runs scored and RBI, while Paige Ogden and Alyssa Gooderl each had two hits. 

Holton in the loss had a two-hit game by Beard and Flewelling, while Addie Degenhardt drew two walks and scored a pair of runs. 

The split moves Holton to 16-4 on the season and 15-1 in Big Seven League play, while Royal Valley moved to 14-6 and 13-4 in Big Seven League action. Both teams wrapped up the regular season and now gear up for Regionals early next week. 

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