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Roby tosses gem, pair of home runs push Daviess County past Lady Devils

May 17, 2022 | 12:05 am

Updated May 16, 2022 | 10:29 pm

Photo by Gage Johnson

Junior Raylee Roby stole the show on Monday, striking out 14 while getting some fireworks from her offense to help the Lady Panthers advance to the 9th District Championship over Owensboro 8-1.

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After a quiet first inning, it was the Lady Panthers who got on the board first. Senior Seanna Leibfried gave Daviess County its first hit, before a ground ball to third led to an overthrow of first by sophomore Sophie Moorman to plate a run and give them a 1-0 lead.

Meanwhile, Roby was locked in for the Lady Panthers. After getting a pop out to start the game, Roby had struck out eight straight batters to keep Owensboro off the board completely through three.

Daviess County’s offense took advantage too, getting a two-run triple from junior Jessie Daniels to make it 3-0. Daniels scored on a passed ball shortly after, making it a 4-0 game going into the fourth. 

The Lady Devils were able to get their first hit of the day on a bunt single from sophomore Emmi Connor, quickly sitting with runners in scoring position after a walk and a sac bunt by Moorman. 

However, the Lady Panthers killed Owensboro’s first scoring threat, as Roby got a strikeout and then senior Millie Roberts picked off the runner at third to keep the game at a 4-0 going into the bottom of the fourth.

Daviess County continued to add onto its lead via the long ball in the fourth, getting two-run home runs with two outs from senior Hattie Newman and Daniels to take an 8-0 lead into the fifth.

The Lady Devils were finally able to break through for a run in the bottom of the seventh, but it was too little too late as Roby closed the door for the complete-game 8-1 win.

The junior righty tossed all seven innings in the circle, allowing one earned run on three hits, while walking one and striking out 14. Biggs has been super pleased with Roby’s play this season and he knows that the Lady Panthers can count on her in the big moments as they try to make a deep postseason run.

“She’s a warrior,” Biggs said. “With her I have the confidence in her that if a pitch is working and we feel like the batters are having a hard time with that certain pitch, we’re probably going to wear that pitch out… If we make a run she’s going to pitch quite a few innings, so we’re trying to maybe not waste a bunch of pitches and try to keep the pitch count down as much as possible.”

It was Daniels and Hattie Newman who led the way offensively, both hitting two-run home runs and finished with four and two RBIs respectively.

“I felt like we had some quality at-bats early,” Biggs said. “I thought we saw a lot of pitches and that was kind of what we were wanting to do because I knew we were going to have to make some adjustments from what we had seen this past weekend.” 

Daviess County now advances to 26-5 overall and will have its eyes set on a district championship when they take on the winner of Apollo and Owensboro Catholic on Friday.

With the end of the school year throwing a wrench into things and four days before the 9th District Championship, Biggs and company want to stick to their routine as much as possible.

“We’re going to try to practice tomorrow, maybe try to practice a little bit earlier since they’re out of school and just try to keep some things as normal as possible…” Biggs said. “We need to kind of get in that routine. Our kids like routine, so that’s what we’re going to try and do as much as possible.”

Meanwhile, the Lady Devils fall to 11-20 as their season comes to a close in the first round of the 9th District Tournament. Despite the final result on Monday, Head Coach Quincy Moorman feels that the program took a step forward this season.

“I definitely think we did,” Moorman said. “I think we’ve played seven or eight Top-30 teams. Owensboro’s never done that. We’ve never been able to compete at that level. The only top teams in the state we ever played were district folks.”

Now the focus for Owensboro is on continuing to progress with hard work in the off-season, hoping to bounce back next season and shake things up in the 9th District.

“The girls cannot put their gloves down,” Moorman said. “Take a few days, a week off, maybe even two weeks, but you gotta be back on the field. In the past we had a lot of girls that didn’t play travel ball, didn’t do anything. Put their gloves up until the fall when we have open field. We can’t take months off in this district and be able to compete.”

May 17, 2022 | 12:05 am

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