The New Franklin Lady Bulldogs softball team didn't count on Harrisburg junior Kimberly Roberts beating them with both her arm and bat last night in the championship game in the Class 1 District 7 Tournament at Pilot Grove.
But that's exactly what happened as Roberts held New Franklin to just one run on two hits through seven innings of play while going 3-for-4 at the plate with a single, double, home run and three RBIs in a 7-1 victory.
While the Lady Bulldogs closed out the season at 15-11 overall, head coach Ross Dowell said Roberts did a great job working her pitches in and out and changing speeds. "We never got comfortable in the box," Dowell said. "She worked the outside corner and the umpire was giving it to her. We just had trouble putting it in play. Overall, I thought we had a pretty good season. We were in a lot of games this year, which was better than last year. However, we really need to work in the off-season on getting stronger physically and mentally."
Despite the six-point loss, the Lady Bulldogs were actually in the game until the top-half of the fifth when Harrisburg erupted for three runs on one walk and two hits, which included the two-run home run to left by Roberts to make it 4-1.
Harrisburg also opened the game with one run in the top-half of the first when Bobbi Mathews reached on an error and later scored on the RBI-single to center by Kassi Blakemore.
Meanwhile, after failing to score for the first-three innings, New Franklin finally got on the board in the bottom-half of the fourth when Kallie Monteer led off with a walk, advanced to second on a dropped fly ball to center off the bat of Emily Hendrix and then scored on a fly out to center by Abby Prewitt.
Unfortunately for New Franklin, they had nothing to show for the next-three innings while Harrisburg plated three in the fifth on the home run by Roberts and three again in the seventh on an infield single by Mathews and back-to-back doubles by Kassi Blakemore and Roberts to go up 7-1.
In addition to giving up just one run on two hits, Roberts also struck out 16 batters and walked one.
For New Franklin, Kalani Pihana took the loss by giving up seven runs, five earned, on eight hits and three walks while striking out three.
Blakemore and Mathews each had two hits in the game for Harrisburg, who will move on to face Silex (20-1) in the state playoffs on Wednesday, Oct. 10 in Silex starting at 5 p.m. Silex defeated Sturgeon 6-5 in the championship in the Class 1 District 8 Tournament.
As for the hitting in the game for New Franklin, Sara Montgomery and Abby Prewitt each had one single.