Cloverdale records second straight win, blanks Eels 6-0
CLOVERDALE -- After posting its first win of the season in convincing fashion Thursday at Owen Valley, Cloverdale came back the next night and shut out visiting Clay City 6-0.
The Clovers were able to use a big sixth inning to power past the Eels for their second win of the year. Paige Gutierrez pitched a gem, striking out 14 batters, while allowing just three hits for Cloverdale.
After going three up and three down in the first three innings, Brianna Hoff posted the team's first hit of the night, singling to centerfield. She was brought home by a strong double by Kara Knapp to give CHS a narrow 1-0 advantage.
That margin would remain until the bottom of the sixth inning when the Cloverdale bats came alive. In the sixth, Cloverdale scored five runs on four hits to blow the game wide open.
"They decided to come and play finally at the end," head coach Brian Knapp said. "We were hitting her, but we just couldn't find any holes to put it in. They played great defense until they had a few little bobbles there and that helped us get a few runners on."
Holding a decisive 6-0 lead going into the final inning, Cloverdale looked well on its way to its second straight win. But the Clovers allowed Emmie Kittle to reach on an error, giving the visiting Eels a little life. The next batter sent a shot to left-centerfield that looked destined to find the wall and plate Clay City's first run of the game. But a superb running catch by Hoff got things back on track for the Clovers.
"She made a brilliant catch. She laid out opposite hand. What can you say? It was a beautiful catch," Knapp said.
Gutierrez preceded to strikeout the following two batters to give CHS its second win of the season.
Knapp led the Clovers at the plate, going 2-for-3 with a double and two RBIs. Hoff, Gutierrez, Heather Goss and Madison Smith added an RBI each.
Knapp hopes the improved play continues at the Clovers head east to face Monrovia.
"We go into Monrovia on Monday. It's another big conference game for us, so we'll see what we've got Monday and hopefully they're still on a roll because they're cruising right now. Keep them rolling," Knapp said.
Clay City 000 000 0 -- 0 3 3
Cloverdale 000 105 x -- 6 6 2
WP -- Gutierrez
LP -- Jeffers
2B -- Knapp (CHS)