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Knights pounce early for softball victory

FARMINGTON – Even though just one batted ball left the infield, the Farmington softball team was able to manufacture three runs during the first inning on Wednesday.

That early cushion was handed to freshman right-hander Abby Robbins, who pitched a three-hitter and compiled 12 strikeouts over six innings for an 11-1 triumph over Jefferson.

Morning rain forced a change of venue, giving Farmington (7-6) an unexpected home date. The Knights maximized 10 hits and seven walks against opposing hurler Megan Payne.

Robbins backed her own performance at the plate by going 3-for-4, while seniors Allyson Helms and Sophia White each finished 2-for-3 in the victory.

McKennah Wallace bunted for a hit after Courtney Swink drew a leadoff walk, and White loaded the bases in the opening with a single to shallow left-center field.

Robbins made it 2-0 with an infield single after Jocelyn Cunningham picked up an RBI ground out, and White scored on a double steal with courtesy runner Alayna Sparr moments later.

Jefferson (5-12) generated five base runners overall, including four in a leadoff capacity, but could not break through as Robbins carried a shutout bid into the sixth inning.

Abi Chipps was stranded at third following a walk in the opening frame, and a leadoff single by Payne was squandered in the third after Swink chased down a fly ball in foul territory.

Farmington broke the game open by scoring four times in the third. Five consecutive batters reached safely with two outs after center fielder Vanessa Forister made a juggling catch near the fence.

Helms brought in the first two runs, and raced all the way to third base on an RBI single that bounced past the right fielder for an error.

Sloane Elam was hit by a pitch and Abby Vaugh walked before Swink drew a free pass with the bases loaded. A bobbled ground ball in the circle made it 7-0.

Jefferson catcher Catryn Cattoor took several impressive cuts before coaxing a nine-pitch walk in the fourth, but Robbins answered with a ground out and five straight strikeouts.

Cattoor smashed an RBI single through the right side after Chipps stole second and third to produce the Blue Jays’ lone tally in the top of the sixth. They were each 1-for-2 plus a walk.

Farmington utilized its bench to punctuate the outcome with a four-run surge in the home half. After Robbins singled home White, Sparr connected for an RBI single for an 8-1 margin.

Bralea McClain walked to force in the next run, Braelynn Moore lifted a sacrifice fly, and senior Kalynn Tucker capped the contest with an RBI single into the right-center gap.

Makaila Leask scored twice as a courtesy runner for the Knights, who will return to action at Seckman on Friday.

Farmington senior Kalynn Tucker rounds first base after hitting a game-ending RBI single during the sixth inning on Wednesday against Jefferson.

Farmington senior Kalynn Tucker rounds first base after hitting a game-ending RBI single during the sixth inning on Wednesday against Jefferson.

Farmington infielder McKennah Wallace (center) jogs to the dugout with teammates Courtney Swink and Allyson Helms (right) after catching a fly ball to end the top of the third inning against Jefferson on Wednesday.

Farmington infielder McKennah Wallace (center) jogs to the dugout with teammates Courtney Swink and Allyson Helms (right) after catching a fly ball to end the top of the third inning against Jefferson on Wednesday.

Farmington freshman pitcher Abby Robbins delivers against Jefferson during first inning action on Wednesday.

Farmington freshman pitcher Abby Robbins delivers against Jefferson during first inning action on Wednesday.

Matt King is the sports editor for the Daily Journal. Contact him at mking@dailyjournalonine.com

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