BIG STONE GAP — For Powell Valley’s softball team, Wednesday’s regular-season finale developed into the perfect storm.
Marie Chandler brought the heat, Brittany Bishop provided the power and the Lady Vikings completed an undefeated season with a 7-0 win over Lonesome Pine District rival J.I. Burton.
Chandler stepped into the circle with her top-shelf stuff, striking out 14 batters en route to a three-hit shutout.
Meanwhile, Powell Valley put the game out of reach by erupting for five runs in the bottom of the fourth. Bishop’s two-run homer to dead center was the signature blow during the Lady Vikings’ onslaught.
“Marie did another great job and our defense made some great plays,” Powell Valley coach Travis Turner said. “We swung the bats well at times, but we still need to hit every inning.”
The Lady Vikings certainly did allow a few opportunities to pass them by, but once Kaylla Holdway singled to bring Bishop home in the bottom of the first inning, Powell Valley already had all the offense it needed.
Chandler made sure of that.
With a wicked assortment of pitches at her disposal, Powell Valley’s ace struck out seven of the first eight batters she faced and didn’t allow a hit until the fourth inning.
Still, Burton was hanging within two runs until Powell Valley sent 10 batters to the plate in the fourth.
Carrisa Blanton reached on an error to start the frame and it was all downhill from there. Kaycee Lawson followed with an RBI single, setting the plate for Bishop’s blast. Demi Reynolds added a run-scoring single to push the lead out to 7-0.
It may as well been 70-0 the way Chandler was throwing.
“We were in there up until that point,” Burton coach Jamie Robbins said. “But that was just too many runs with the pitching they’ve got.”
The Lady Raiders were able to load the bases in the top of the sixth when Ra’Shelle Miller and April Hamilton came up with back-to-back singles and Autumn Fultz reached after getting hit by a pitch. But Chandler (12-0) came up with a strikeout to preserve her shutout.
Bishop finished 2-for-2 with two RBIs, two runs scored and a walk, while Holdway was 2-for-4 with a double, an RBI and a run scored for Powell Valley (20-0, 9-0).
Cassie Sturgill and Cassie Chadwell each showed discipline at the plate. Sturgill walked twice and scored a run, while Chadwell drew three walks.
Chelsea Forney (1-2) took the loss for Burton (13-6, 6-3), but showed tremendous toughness in the process.
Forney took a rocket shot off her left forearm while facing Powell Valley’s first batter of the game. She recovered and threw two more innings before giving way to Melanie DeBoard.
With the postseason looming, Turner said his team needs to work on coming up with big hits more consistently; Wednesday’s game reinforced his point.
The Lady Vikings loaded the bases with one out in the third and came away empty-handed before leaving runners stranded on second and third in the fourth.