by Rusty Ellis
Coverage of the Spring Fling is presented by Steel Technologies
Plumlee struck out the first nine hitters of the game, giving her team a chance to warm up at the plate and as it turned out, they only needed until the second inning.
The Tigerettes struck first after a ground-ball hit by Abby Brinkley was misplayed at second base, allowing two runs to score for a 2-0 lead in the second.
The third inning once again proved to be the big inning for Gordonsville, as the Tigerettes loaded the bases with nobody out.
A tremendous at-bat by Callie Dillard led to a bases-loaded walk to make the score 3-0. That was only the beginning, as five more runs came across on the strength of a two-run single from Mackenize Herron, a catcher’s interference call that scored Dillard and a single from Brinkley that plated two runs to make the score 8-0 at the end of the third.
Plumlee was her usual dominant self in the circle and then some from that point on, she struck out 20 hitters and retired the 21st out on a pop-up, as Gordonsville clinched a spot in the Class A Semifinals with an 8-1 win over the Eagleville Eagles.
For head coach Randy Jennings, it wasn’t quite the final score he predicted, but he was proud of the overall effort from his team.
“It was a great win, I never thought that would be an 8-1 ballgame,” Jennings said. “It was two great pitchers going at one another and we had some fortunate bounces and some big hits early on to get this one done.”
The at-bats up and down the lineup proved to be one of the difference makers, as seemingly every hitter that came to the plate for Jennings came through when it mattered.
“We had some help with walks, but most of those walks were due to just some great, long at-bats,” Jennings said. “We put a couple balls in play and got some big hits, and everything seemed to just go our way.”
And of course, there’s Kailey Plumlee. After a freshman season that saw her strike out 64 hitters in four state tournament games, she’s up to 36 strikeouts in her first two games this year.
Though as impressive as it is, it’s nothing surprising to Jennings. He knows he’s got one of the best competitors in the state in his dugout.
“She’s just such a battler,” Jennings said. “She might walk a couple, but she’s gotten so good at pulling it back together…she’s got dominant stuff, especially for the high school level. She’s just really special.”
The Tigerettes will take on Jo Byrns in the Class A Semifinal on Thursday morning at 10 A.M.
Photos by Michael Lindsay: