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Whitney Willoz stepped into the batter’s box with two outs on the scoreboard and the game-winning run on second base in the bottom of the eighth inning. She dug in and her single to right-center field gave Lone Tree the 2-1 win.
Before the ball dropped into the outfield, it seemed to hang for a bit and the Lady Lions held their breath.
“I was just really nervous and didn’t think it was going to drop,” Willoz said.
Willoz sprinted to first base before looking up and seeing Abby Buckman being waved in and running to home. The throw from the outfield sailed above the catcher’s head and Buckman was able to score with ease.
Buckman got on base on a spinning liner to the shortstop and advanced to second after Kinley Hayes drew a walk.
The win marks the fifth of the year for Lone Tree, more than their 2017 total.
“I’d say we’re picking each other up better and that we’re not focusing on ourselves. We’re focusing on each other’s goals and improving each other,” Willoz said.
She said this game marks something important for the Lady Lions because of their ability to stay in a close game. Before this, four of their six games had been decided by 10 or more runs.
Buckman pitched eight innings from the mound, allowing just one run.
Pekin: 000 100 00 — 1
Lone Tree: 000 100 01 — 2
Lady Lions beat Mediapolis
Lone Tree battled Mediapolis and used a five-run third inning to cruise to a 13-10 victory.
Abby Buckman and Chloe Jacque led the way at the plate for the Lady Lions with three hits each. Jacque and Holley Johnson had extra-base hits for the Lions on the night.
Eighth-graders Kinley Hayes and Arlie Lorack split time on the mound. Hayes went two and one-third innings, giving up four hits, five runs, one earned run and striking out one. Lorack came on in relief and pitched the rest of the way, striking out four batters and allowing eight hits in four and two-thirds innings.
Lone Tree: 205 123 0 — 13
Mediapolis: 022 212 1 — 10
Hits — Chloe Jacque 3, Abby Buckman 3, Heather Geiger 2, Holley Johnson 1, Kinley Hayes 1, Whitney Willoz 1
Runs — Holley Johnson 4, Chloe Jacque 3, Abby Buckman 2, Heather Geiger 2, Whitney Willoz 1, Arlie Lorack 1
RBI — Chloe Jacque 2, Holley Johnson 2, Abby Buckman 2, Kinley Hayes 1, Heather Geiger 1, Jordan Akers 1
Lions shell Keota
Lone Tree downed Keota in three innings 22-0 last Tuesday.
The Lions had 11 hits, including four extra-base hits. The Lions had a strong start, leading 5-0 after one inning. They continued their offensive explosion in the second inning, scoring 17 runs in the second.
Kinley Hayes pitched two innings and Arlie Lorack pitched the third.
Keota: 000 — 0
Lone Tree: 5 170 – 0
Hits — Holley Johnson 2, Abby Buckman 2, Kinley Hayes 2, Arlie Lorack 2, Whitney Willoz 1, Heather Geiger 1, Skylar Smith 1.
Runs — Holley Johnson 4, Abby Buckman 3, Arlie Lorack 3, Heather Geiger 3, Chloe Jacque 2, Natalie Patterson 2, Whitney Willoz 2, Skylar Smith 2, Jordan Akers 1.
RBI — Holley Johnson 5, Kinley Hayes 3, Skylar Smith 2, Abby Buckman 2, Whitney Willoz 1, Arlie Lorack 1, Heather Geiger 1.
Louisa-Muscatine downs Lions
Heading to the sixth inning, Lone Tree found themselves in a tight 6-5 game with SEISC power Louisa-Muscatine. The Falcons then scored 13 over the next two innings with no more runs coming from Lone Tree for a 19-5 final score.
Abby Buckman was the lone Lady Lion with multiple hits. She had two singles and drove in one run. She pitched six and two-thirds innings, allowing 13 hits, six of 19 runs earned, and struck out seven.
Louisa-Muscatine: 051 006 7 — 19
Lone Tree: 100 040 0 — 5
Hits — Abby Buckman 2, Whitney Willoz 1
Runs — Chloe Jacque 1, Holley Johnson 1, Abby Buckman 1, Jordan Akers 1, Skylar Smith 1.
RBI — Abby Buckman 1.
New London blanks Lions
It just wasn’t the Lady Lions’ night as they took a 14-0 loss from New London.
Lone Tree had three hits on the night, compared to the Tiger’s 13 hits. The five-inning run rule gave a loss to Abby Buckman, who pitched five innings for the Lions.
New London: 365 00 — 14
Lone Tree: 000 00 — 0
Hits — Chloe Jacque 1, Abby Buckman 1, Arlie Lorack 1
Runs — None.
RBI — None.