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Knightettes stand alone in conference lead

PARK HILLS – The two remaining undefeated softball teams in the MAAA Conference collided in Park Hills on Monday, and while the Lady Rebels proved to be a team on the rise, the Knightettes exhibited why it is still the team to beat in the league.

Farmington broke open a game controlled by good pitching and defense with back-to-back home runs in the fourth inning, and cruised from there to a 4-0 victory.

Natalie Sago gave up only three hits and one walk while striking out eight batters to notch her fifth shutout of the season for the Knightettes. Freshman Amber Kennedy allowed only six hits and two walks while fanning three in the loss for the Lady Rebels.

Farmington (9-0) threatened to score in the first inning when a two-out rally put runners at second and third, but a line drive to right field was caught. Central (5-5) failed to capitalize on a lead-off single by Megan Keller in the bottom of the second.

A sudden power surge from the middle of the lineup propelled Farmington to the lead. Erica Fitzgerald lined the first pitch of the fourth inning toward the left field corner. The softball had enough momentum to skip past the left fielder, allowing Fitzgerald to circle the bases for a big home run.

The next batter, Molly Currington slammed a high delivery deep to left-center field for her third home run of the young season to make it 2-0. Kennedy recovered nicely to retire the next six batters she faced, but did not receive a needed offensive rally from her teammates.

Central picked up a lead-off single from Kristen Gunder in the fifth, but she was retired at second base for a force out on a throw from center fielder Marissa Hoehn. The Lady Rebels would not have another base runner.

The Knightettes manufactured two key insurance runs in the sixth. Sago singled to left field and moved from first and third on a good sacrifice bunt by Fitzgerald before scoring on a Currington ground out.

The Lady Rebels nearly escaped the inning trailing 3-0, but the throw following a bounced strikeout pitch went to third base instead of first, putting two runners on base. Toshia Hamlett then lined a RBI hit to left.

Currington went 2-for-3 with two RBI and Fitzgerald was 1-for-2 for Farmington. Devin Pope came off the bench to add a pinch-hit single in the seventh. Keller was the offensive leader for Central by going 2-for-3.

The Knightettes are now 4-0 in league play, while the Lady Rebels are 3-1.

Farmington will host Fredericktown today in another pivotal conference game, which had to be made up due to an earlier rain-out. Central is also playing a home game this afternoon against a solid St. Pius squad.

Farmington 000 202 0 – 4 6 0

Central 000 000 0 – 0 3 2

WP – Sago 7i 0r 3h 8k 1bb.

LP – Kennedy 7i 4r 3er 6h 3k 2bb.

Hitting:

Farmington – Currington 2, Fitzgerald, Sago, Hamlett, Pope. HR – Currington (3), Fitzgerald (1).

Central – Keller 2, Gunder.

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