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Lady Clippers sneak past Lady Devils for title

SPRING VALLEY — The Amboy Lady Clippers stole one from host Hall in Friday’s championship game of the Lady Devil Invite softball tournament

Hall ace Johnna Schultz took a 1-0 lead into the bottom of the sixth inning on the strength of her fourth-inning home run. Amboy, the home team via coin flip, tied the game on a RBI hit by Leicking in the sixth and won it on Carly Dodd’s walk-off double in the seventh inning.

“It was a heckuva game,” Hall coach Pete Kasperski said. “We just didn’t put the ball in play enough. When we did, they made the plays ... We cut down our errors and did better defensively.”

Schultz snuck her solo shot over the fence to straight-away center field in the fourth, her first long ball of the season.

“That’s her first. She’s been all around the fence,” Kasperski said.

The way she was hurling, it looked liked that might have been just enough to take Hall to the title. She went five innings in a 10-run rule shortened 16-2 win in the opener over Serena and looked as strong in the nightcap.

The Lady Clippers had other ideas thanks to its “Kaitlyn Konnection.” Kaitlyn Appleman singled and took second on a fielder’s choice to third baseman Abby Azarskis. The next hitter, Kailyn Liebing, fisted a hit to right field to score Appleman and tie the game at 1.

Destiny Oens reached safely with one in the first on an error by shortstop Brenna Faletti. Akre drew a free base before Dodd sent the Lady Clippers home happy with her deep double down the left field line.

Schultz fanned nine Lady Clippers, while surrendering four hits only over the final two innings.

Kaleel, who also pitched Amboy to a 2-1 win over Putnam County in its opener, also scattered four hits while fanning three.

“It was a great pitching effort for both of them,” Kasperski said. “I know Johnna threw 65 pitches in the first game. That girl pitched seven innings and won down there (on the other field) and came over here and pitched seven innings and won 2-1. She’s the best pitcher we’ve faced since the James girl from Princeton.”

• Notes: Amboy raised its record to 14-2 with the doubleheader sweep. Putnam County beat Serena 7-2 to take third place. Hall is slated for a twinbill at Mendota beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday.

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