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After dropping its past three softball games, St. Stephens received great play on the mound and timely double plays Thursday to knock off unbeaten Maiden, 3-1.
Up 3-0 in the sixth inning, the Lady Indians (2-3) dodged several potential tying chances by the Lady Blue Devils (5-1).
Maiden scored one run with one out in the sixth inning to cut its deficit to two, but a solid defensive play by the Lady Indians stopped the possibility of more Lady Blue Devil runs.
Saint first baseman Erika Spencer grabbed a liner hit straight to her and stepped on first base for an unassisted double play.
â€śThe balls kind of fell our way,â€ť said Indians coach Jan Davis. â€śOur girls picked it up and played well. Defense is something weâ€™ve struggled with the last couple of games. To see them keep their head in it, playing well and knowing what to do with the ball means a lot.â€ť
Scoreless through three innings, the Indians opened scoring in the game in the fourth with an RBI by Taylor Lail.
An inning later, Katie Baker drove in Spencer with a triple, and Bakerâ€™s courtesy runner, Briana Clontz, scored on a sacrifice fly by Briana Thornburg.
Maiden made its final attempt to tie the game in the seventh inning, but Saint held its ground defensively.Â
With a Maiden runner on first, Indians second baseman Jodi Kerley scooped up a ball hit at her to turn the teamâ€™s fourth double play of the game.
Maiden coach Katrina Robinson said it was hard to watch those defensive plays.
â€śSt. Stephens has always been a quality ball team,â€ť she said. â€śWe know they will make plays. It is definitely frustrating to get picked off on good plays. Itâ€™s hard to defend that.â€ť
The Lady Indians forced a last-out pop-up by Maiden to the outfield to seal the win.
Robinson said her squad is building and will bounce back to achieve its goals.
â€śOur goal is still a conference championship,â€ť she said. â€śWe just have to take it one game at a time.â€ť
Davis said her team, which plays Friday versus South Caldwell, is making a turn for the best.
â€śOn defense, weâ€™ve struggled a lot, but to see those double plays and heads-up plays means a lot,â€ť she said. â€śIt means weâ€™re heading in the right direction.â€ťView more articles in: