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Eagle eyes

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Cambridge City Lincoln’s Alyssa Harris slides into third base, trying to get under atag applied by Connersville’s Jeri Ellis at Spartan Field on Thursday evening. Harris was out on the play, but the Lady Golden Eagles escaped with a 7-4 win over the Spartans.
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Cambridge City Lincoln hurler Kaleigh Lamb unleashes a pitch against Connersville on Thursday. Lamb went the distance against the Lady Spartans, earning the win on the mound in a 7-4 final.
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Connersvillefreshman Hailey Elliott gets a jump on a pitch against Cambridge City Lincoln, Thursday evening at Spartan Field. Elliott scored one of CHS’ runs in a 7-4 loss to the Lady Golden Eagles.

By GRADY TATE - gtate@newsexaminer.com

The Cambridge City Lincoln softball team did just enough to get the job done against Connersville on Thursday night.

Scoring five runs through the first two innings, the Golden Eagles endured a comeback from the Lady Spartans, as CHS scored twice in the third and once in the bottom of the fourth, cutting the deficit to 5-3.

Insurance runs in the fifth and sixth helped their cause, as CHS could not keep up, adding only one run, leading to a 7-4 loss for the Spartans.

“We started off with a dropped third strike in the first inning and that led to a run, so it wasn’t the start that we wanted,” Connersville head coach David Ellis said. “If we get out of that, the score is still 0-0.

“We then had a an error and hit a batter in the second, and that helped them add more runs on the board, when what we really wanted was to keep things close. I felt like, had we kept it a little closer, we would have competed a little better.”

The second-inning miscues led to four runs, as Kaleigh Lamb, Rachel Moschel, Savanna Dungan and Haley Black all touched home in the stanza.

“Offensively, it’s pretty tough to get through our order,” Cambridge City Lincoln coach Scott Griffin said. “We’ve yet to have a game where everyone is clicking, but we keep winning.

“In every game, it seems there are two or three kids — it’s never the same kids — that step up, get hot, and score runs for us. It’s really the definition of team. We don’t have just two or three kids doing it for us all the time.”

On Thursday, that mantle fell on Emmie Pugh, who finished 4-for-4 in the game, scored twice, and drove in a run. Laynie Russell and Alyssa Messer added two hits each for the Eagles.

Connersville was led by Ashley Ruble, Jeri Ellis and Allison Kibbey, all of whom collected a pair of hits in the game.

“Ashley has been consistent all year long, so she’s just continuing to come through,” Ellis said. “Kibbey is still hitting the ball well, which is great, since she bats behind (Madison Fields). She’s been able to get a few RBIs here lately.”

One of Ellis’ hits was key for CHS, as the junior hurler delivered a third-inning double down the left-field line with Hailey Elliott and Ruble standing on second and third. Both runners charged home to carve into the LHS lead.

“Jeri hit the ball hard tonight,” coach Ellis said. “That was probably the most solid she’s hit the ball going back a couple of games to her home run against Franklin County.”

Two other hitters caught the eye of coach Ellis in the game.

“Batting in the eighth spot, Hailey Elliott had a nice hit and added another line drive that was caught,” he said. “That’s what we’re looking for, to get some of these girls in the lower half of our line-up to start hitting the ball.”

The other was Katie Steele, who had a pair of picture-perfect sacrifice bunts to help the Spartans.

“Katie does a great job at the plate. Every time I ask her to bunt, she gets it down,” Ellis said. “In that situation, she knows her role, getting the ball down and moving the runner.”

Handed a 6-3 lead in the top of the fifth, Lamb took care of the rest, allowing her opponent only one run through the final three innings.

“She is a good pitcher that does a good job hitting her spots,” Ellis said of Lamb’s effort. “We started hitting her a little better the second time through. Unfortunately, we just could not get those timely hits we needed to get the job done.”

“She’s a lot of fun, a really great player,” Griffin said of his pitcher. “We’ve been able to work her in, get her innings, and put her in situations in which she’s been able to succeed. Tonight, she had to come out and throw.”

With the win, Lincoln improved to 15-1 on the season. Connersville now stands at 8-13.

“They’re just a lot of fun to watch,” Griffin said of his charges. “I would like to take credit for all of their skills, but they’re the ones who work hard in the offseason. Most of the time, I just get to be a spectator.

LADY GOLDEN EAGLES 7, LADY SPARTANS 4

(at Spartan Field)

Cambridge Lincoln 140 011 0 — 7 12 1

Connersville 002 110 0 — 4 9 2

WP: Kaleigh Lamb

LP: Madison Fields

Cambridge City Lincoln (15-1) — Laynie Russell 2-4, Kaleigh Lamb 1-4, Emmie Pugh 4-4, Jaela Patton 0-4, Alyssa Messer 2-4, Kylee Smith 1-4, Rachel Moschel 1-4, Savanna Dungan 1-3, Haley Black 0-2, Allysa Harris 0-0, Kiki Rodriguez 0-0. Totals 12-32 (.375).

Connersville (8-13) — Ashley Ruble 2-4, Jeri Ellis 2-4, Allison Woytik 1-3, Madison Fields 0-4, Allison Kibbey 2-4, Braxton Newton 1-3, Katie Steele 0-1, Hailey Elliott 1-3, Kylie Jackson 0-1. Totals 9-27 (.333).

3B — Cambridge City 1 (Pugh), Connersville 1 (Kibbey). 2B — Cambridge City 2 (Russell, Pugh), Connersville 1 (Ellis). RBI — Cambridge City Lincoln 6 (Lamb 2, Russell, Pugh, Patton, Messer), Connersville 3 (Ellis 2, Steele). Runs — Cambridge City 7 (Pugh 2, Russell, Lamb, Moschel, Dungan, Black), Connersville 4 (Ruble, Kibbey, Elliott, Jackson). Stolen base — Cambridge City 2 (Pugh, Dungan), Connersville 2 (Ruble, Woytik). Caught stealing — Cambridge City 1 (Harris). Sacrifice — Connersville 3 (Steele 2, Jackson). Left on base — Cambridge City 6, Connersville 7.