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Clarksville Debs advance in state tourney

South Boston News
SoVaNow.com / July 18, 2018


Thanks in large part to a stellar performance by pitching sensation Katlyn Shanklin coupled with a strong outing by the offense, the Clarksville Debs All-Stars were able to score a first round victory in the Virginia Dixie Youth softball tournament Friday night at Rocky Yards Field in Farmville.

Shanklin started on the mound against Amherst and faced just nine batters in her effort, struck out seven, allowed no hits and no runs without a walk. Two other pitchers combined to close the game out as the defense played very well the few times they needed to, given the quality of the pitching.

Only one error was recorded by Clarksville and that actually went against the pitcher.

Meantime the Clarksville offense went wild, scoring 21 runs to win by the mercy rule in the fifth inning, 21-2.

Clarksville’s bats got hot in the second inning. Shanklin helped her cause with a leadoff double and Asia Tanner laid down a textbook sacrifice bunt to advance Shanklin to third. Next to the plate was Kayla Gurley, and on a 2-2 count she was struck by a pitch, putting runners at the corners.

Kaylee Newton then came to the plate and laced a single to score Shanklin. That opened the floodgates and the Clarksville batters poured it on, with a single by Chasitee Baskerville and double by Maddie Williams scoring two more runs.

The hit parade continued in the third for Clarksville. Meredith Finch drew a walk to get things started, followed by a double by Kelsey Holloway and a single by Hannah Mull. Morgan Tharpe then drew a walk and, after Amherst recorded an out, A. Tanner singled, K. Gurley walked, C. Baskerville doubled to center and M. Williams reached second on an error by the Amherst first baseman.

M. Yancey then ripped a shot to the outfield that reached the fence and was able to stretch it to a triple on a close play at third. Her hit cleared the bases, and after Clarksville scored another run on a groundout, the inning ended with the local girls firmly in command 14-0.

The Amherst All-Stars would get two runs in the fourth but it was far too little. The game was ended in the fifth with Clarksville taking the 21-2 victory.



***

The Clarksville Debs went on to meet Buckingham in the second round of the state tournament on Saturday, winning by another lopsided score, 17-5.

The enthusiasm over the win was tempered by a frightening, head-on collision between two players for Clarksville and Buckingham, sending both girls to the hospital. In the fourth inning, Buckingham’s Tyshea Chambers attempted to steal second when Clarksville Debs’ second baseman Hannah Mull moved into the base paths on a pick-off play. The two players collided and both fell to the ground. After a stunned silence, coaches and trainers rushed onto the field to tend to the stricken players.

Both players were taken by ambulance to the Farmville hospital for examination and treatment, but thankfully neither was seriously injured, despite the violent collision. Mull was set to return to the lineup for Clarksville’s game on Monday.

In their rout of Buckingham, the Clarksville girls received a boost from the pitching trio of Katlyn Shanklin, Madison Yancey and Maddie Williams, who combined to keep the Buckingham bats in check. Meantime, Clarksville pulled far out front in the sixth inning with four runs and blew the contest open in the seventh with seven more runs.

Clarksville struck for a run in the first inning on a Kelsey Holloway single and stolen base, followed by a sacrifice fly by Hannah Mull. In the second, Clarksville scored four more runs with Shanklin, Asia Tanner, Kayla Gurley and Chasitee Baskerville all crossing home plate.

Clarksville added one run in the fifth and four runs in the sixth as Morgan Bright, Shanklin, Tanner and Gurley all scored.

Buckingham got three runs in the bottom of the sixth to at least make it interesting, but then in the seventh the Clarksville All-Stars scored seven runs to put the game away.

With the victory, the Clarksville Debs advanced to Monday’s action with a spotless record in the double elimination tourney.



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