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HILLSVILLE –– Having paused for what may have been the shortest senior day observance in the history of such procedures, Carroll County made it a short afternoon with an 8-0 nondistrict softball win over Grayson County.
After the introduction of lone 12th-grader Lindsey Davidson followed by an impromptu fly-over by a gaggle of wayward geese, junior-heavy Carroll County upped its record to 13-3 Monday on the strength of a five-run fifth inning and a tidy two-hitter by pitcher Lillie Kimble.
The Cavaliers already led 3-0 before breaking the game open in the bottom of the fifth, which started with Davidson drawing a walk and eventually scoring on a wild pitch. Autumn Fink, whose single put Davidson in position to score, reached third on Lexi Hodge’s bunt single and would trot home on an errant pick-off attempt by the Blue Devils (9-6).
Back-to-back doubles by Kimble and Jordan Nunn plated two more runs. Nunn would score on her own double, overrunning second base and drawing a throw back that sailed into rightfield, allowing her to hustle home for an 8-0 Carroll County lead.
The Cavaliers took the lead for good before making their first out as Eden Durnil, Fink and Hodge all singled to start the bottom of the first. Durnil scored on a pitch to the backstop and Hodge’s base hit plated Fink for a quick 2-0 advantage.
Carroll County added a run in the third as Durnil walked and moved up on a Fink sacrifice bunt. The Blue Devils’ Natasha Moore made a nice over-the-shoulder catch on a deep drive to left by Hodge, but Kimble’s bloop single over the infield knocked in Durnil to widen the gap to 3-0.
It was more than enough for Kimble, who allowed just three Blue Devils to reach base in seven innings. The junior right-hander carried a no-hitter into the fourth before Taylor Hale slapped a clean one-out single into right. Sarah Eller had walked with two down in the second and Laken Parks would beat out a swinging bunt for a base hit with two outs in the sixth.
That was it for Grayson as Kimble struck out nine. Carroll County collected eight hits on the day, all coming from its first five batters in the order. Fink, Hodge and Kimble each had two hits, with Kimble driving in two runs.