CLAY TWP. - The Jackson softball team and Clay combined for 25 runs and 32 hits, including two home runs in a 14-11 loss for the Ironladies in the final regular season game on Friday afternoon at Clay High School.
With the loss, the Ironladies fall to 18-3 on the year, while Clay improved to 21-5 overall.
The Ironladies jumped out to a 2-0 leadoff Clay starter Julia Swain on a two-run home run by Mariah Ridgeway in the top of the first inning, scoring Sydney Humphreys. It was the 47th home run of the season for the Ironladies.
But Clay responded with seven runs to take the lead for good over the next two innings for a five-run advantage.
Ridgeway reached base on an error in the top of the third inning and Raylene Hammond drove her home with an RBI single to center.
Clay, however, added four more runs in the bottom of the third, as Megan Bazler and Swain each drove in a run and Cassidy Wells drove in two more to extend the Panthers' lead to 11-3.
Sydney Humphreys came on in relief of starter Taylor Evens in the fourth and tossed a pair of scoreless innings in the fourth and fifth for the Ironladies.
Katelyn Newkirk was hit by a pitch to drive in Ridgeway with the bases loaded in the fifth and the Ironladies added six more runs in the sixth to close the margin to 11-10.
Jordan Banks singled to drive in Mackenzie Humphreys, while Haley Patterson singled home Sydney Humphreys and Katelyn Newkirk followed with a two-run double, scoring Banks and Patterson. Newkirk came in to score on an RBI groundout by Evans before Makenna Floyd struck out to end the inning.
Clay then pulled away with three runs in the bottom of the sixth when Elisa Collins got on base with a single and scored on a Jackson error on a groundball by Shae Vassar. Then Jensen Warnock took Humphreys deep for a two-run home run to left field for a 14-10 advantage.
Ridgeway drove in her third run of the game with an RBI double to score Mackenzie Humphreys in the top of the seventh, but that is all the runs Jackson would get, as Clay held on for the win.
Sydney Humphreys, Mackenzie Humphreys, Ridgeway and Hammond each had two hits to lead the Ironladies, while Banks, Patterson, Newkirk, and Evans had one hit apiece.
Evans, who pitched three innings, took the loss for Jackson. She scattered 15 hits and 11 runs with one walk and two strikeouts. Humphreys gave up three runs on five hits with a walk and four strikeouts in relief.
Jackson 14, Ironton 4
JACKSON - The Jackson Ironladies broke a six-year-old home run streak, set by LaGrange Keystone in 2012 last Thursday afternoon.
The Ironladies needed just three home runs to surpass the record (45) and that is what they got in a 14-4 win over Ironton in five innings.
With the win, the Ironladies improved to 18-2 on the season.
Raylene Hammond hit her 13th and 14th home runs of the season, including a two-run blast in the bottom of the first inning, as Jackson jumped out to a 4-0 lead.
Hammond and Banks hit back-to-back solo homers in the bottom of the fifth to put the mercy-rule into effect.
Taylor Evans earned the complete game victory, as she gave up four runs (three earned) on seven hits with one walk and five strikeouts.