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Lindsay keeps rule atop 9-A, topping Chico

By Clay Corbett | Published Wednesday, April 25, 2012

TAKING A CUT - Chico's Molli Umphress connects with a pitch. She drove in one of the Lady Dragons' three runs in an 8-3 loss to Lindsay Monday. Messenger photo by Mack Thweatt

For the second time in as many meetings Lindsay’s Lucinda Krahl provided the game-changing moment to lead the Lady Knights over the Chico Lady Dragons. This time it decided the District 9-A championship.

In the fifth inning, Krahl’s deep fly ball to left-center field was mishandled by the Chico outfield and allowed the Lady Knights to grab the lead on their way to their fourth straight district title.

Lindsay defeated the Lady Dragons 8-3 Monday at Bowie High School in a one-game playoff.

Lindsay will receive the bye to the area round of the Class A Region II playoffs. Chico will be the league’s second seed and will open the playoffs in bi-district against the third-place team out of District 10-A, Cross Plains, 5 p.m. May 1 in Breckenridge.

Krahl’s fly ball came with two on and two out in the fifth with the game tied at 2-2. When the ball fell in, Lindsay scored two runs to take its first lead.

“That play kind of sparked us and got us going,” said Lindsay coach Robin Hess. “I also think Taylor [Atkins] started a little slow, and she has been battling an upper respiratory thing, and her back has been hurting. Once she got back in rhythm I thought we were going to be fine.”

It was Krahl’s three-run homer back on April 8 in Lindsay that put the Lady Knights up for good on their way to victory. Lindsay once again took advantage of opportunities and picked up some timely hitting Monday.

“They [Lindsay] caught some good breaks and got some timely hits,” said Chico coach Michael Qualls. “They deserve it. They are well-coached, well-prepared, and when you’re in a big game like this it comes down to the opportunities, and they took advantage of theirs.”

The two-run lead would be enough for Atkins to get through the next three innings. Chico scratched out a run in the bottom of the fifth after Araliza Galindo walked and was moved over on a Martina Cantu sacrifice bunt. With two outs, Molli Umphress singled her home to bring the Lady Dragons within one, 4-3.

Atkins then beared down to get third-place hitter Charlye Biggerstaff to ground out to end the inning.

Lindsay kept the hot bats going into the sixth inning against Chico starter Malori Moss. She was hot early, not allowing a hit until the fourth inning, and recording three strikeouts before Lindsay took the lead in the fifth.

With one out in the sixth, the Lady Knights put the game away. Liz Wallace singled with one out, and Erin Copeland followed with an RBI double. Copeland later scored on a wild pitch, and Atkins added the final run of the inning, scoring on Liz Zwinggi’s groundout.

“We talked about leaving it all out on the field today,” Qualls said. “Lindsay is going to hit the ball and put up runs. The only way to beat them is out-hit them, and with Taylor Atkins pitching it makes it tough.

“I’m glad we won’t have to see them again until the regional championship if we take care of business.”

Lindsay added one more run in the seventh with a Haley Skinner RBI-single to put the finishing touches on the Lady Knights’ fourth straight district title.

Atkins picked up the win going all seven innings, striking out 10, walking only one and giving up three hits. Copeland finished with an RBI-double. Zwinggi tallied three RBIs.

Moss took the loss for Chico, going all seven innings, recording four strikeouts, walking seven and allowing five hits.

Moss drove in a run in the first inning to put the Lady Dragons up 2-0. Hannah Avants had scored the first run on a wild pitch.

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