CLAYTON -- Cloverdale's outstanding softball season came to a predictable, one-sided conclusion Monday, a 9-1 loss to Cascade in the first round of the 2A Sectional 44 on the Cadets' field.
The Clovers (18-9) went against one of the state's top pitchers in left-hander Haley Chambers, who struck out 14 and didn't allow a hit in five and one-third innings before Kate Breedlove came on in relief.
"Haley is probably the best pitcher in the state along with (South Putnam's) Brooke Boetjer, " Cloverdale coach Brian Knapp said. "She's phenomenal. She's fast and moves the ball and we couldn't find it."
Knapp faced 17 batters and three made contact. Paige Gutierrez was the only Clover to reach base, on an error in the fourth.
"Give all the credit to her (Chambers)," Knapp said.
Gutierrez was Cloverdale's starting pitcher and she pitched seven solid innings in her final high school softball game. She gave up four earned runs, 10 hits, struck out 12 and walked two.
The Clovers committed five errors that led to five unearned runs.
"Paige was tired, she pitched a lot of games for us this year and did a wonderful job," Knapp said. "We didn't expect to give them three runs right off the bat and that made it tough going against Haley."
Cascade (23-4) scored three runs in the first on one hit with the help of an error, a passed ball on a strikeout and two wild pitches.
Cascade coach Don Helmick removed Chambers, a senior who is headed to play at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, with one out in the sixth inning because "she tweaked her knee a little and I wanted to get Kate (Breedlove) some innings."
Kara Knapp drove in Cloverdale's run with a two-out double to center field. Breedlove walked the first batter she faced, Rebekah Jordan, who was forced at second on a ground ball by Brianna Hoff. Gutierrez was hit by a pitch and Knapp delivered a long drive to center for the Clovers' only hit.
Bradanne Toney walked to load the bases, but Breedlove got Jessica Winders to pop out to end the inning. Breedlove got the Clovers out in order in the seventh.
"We had a great season," Brian Knapp said. "If you're going to win the state, you have to beat the best and we've got the two best in this sectional with Cascade and South Putnam. Who ever comes out of this sectional will win the state."
Cascade 301 041 0 -- 910 1
Cloverdale 000 001 0 -- 1 1 5
Chambers, Breedlove (6) and Bra. Salllee; P. Gutierrez and Goss.
WP: Chambers (5 1/3 IP, 0 runs, 0 hits, 14 strikeouts, 0 walks).
LP: P. Gutierrez (7 IP, 9 runs, 4 earned runs, 10 hits, 12 strikeouts, 3 walks).
3B: Cascade -- Stephenson.
2B: Cascade -- Mink 2, Bra. Sallee; Cloverdale -- Knapp.