Anne Weller seemed to have trouble finding the strike zone in the first inning of the District 12 10-11 Softball championship.
She walked three batters and gave up two runs before recording the first three outs of the game. After apparently settling her nerves, Weller fanned seven batters and held Clinton's offense in check as she tossed a one-hitter en route to an 11-6 win for Jersey Shore on Friday night at Volunteer Stadium.
"I can't say enough about her," Jersey Shore coach Charles Spotts said. "She didn't really pitch much during the regular season at all. We had all the girls pitching before the game and went with who looked best."
The victory helped Jersey Shore avoid a third and deciding game this morning back at Volunteer Stadium. Jersey Shore won the first meeting between the two teams, 16-6. Jersey Shore advances to the Section 3 Tournament and will play the District 24 champion at 5:30 p.m. at a District 12 site next Thursday. Jersey Shore and District 24 are the only two teams in the tournament. They are scheduled to play three consecutive days if necessary.
Yesterday, Jersey Shore's offense scored 11 runs on eight hits.
Jersey Shore posted six runs in a third-inning rally opened by Andrey Wacker, who beat out an infield single. Daytona Wentzel, who finished 2 for 4 and scored twice, then singled and Ashlyn Wool added another. Jersey Shore advanced every runner to reach in the inning, stealing eight bases.
"We try to manufacture runs that way," Spotts said. "They are a speedy group and it's kind of our game."
Clinton rallied, scoring four runs in the fifth inning after Rachel Karwowski earned the team's first hit to open the inning. The next three batters all walked before Weller ended the surge with two strikeouts and a groundout.
Jersey Shore 106 022-11 8 3
Clinton 200 040- 6 1 2
Anne Weller and Madison Knepp. Karissa Lucas and Brionna Galentine. WP - Weller. LP - Lucas.
Top Jersey Shore hitters: Daytona Wentzel 2-4, 2 runs; Audrie Hartman 2-4, 2 RBI, 2 runs. Top Clinton hitters: Rachel Karwowski 2 runs.