Area softball from Saturday with Lexington and EPG contests

    Blue Ridge got to Lexington starter Maddie Underhill early, but the Minutemen offense — particularly Raelyn Payne — came to the rescue in driving to a 14-4 Heart of Illinois Conference softball victory at Keller Park Friday afternoon.
    The Knights scored two runs in the first inning and tow in the second before Underhill found her groove.
    Blue Ridge greeted Underhill each inning by getting the leadoff batter on base. Four came on singles and one was a walk. The Knights scored the game’s first two runs on a double in the top of the first.
    They got two more runs in the second inning but Blue Ridge was playing catch-up by that time. This was because the Minutemen struck for six runs in the home-half of the first inning.
    It was Payne starting things off by drawing a walk to lead off. Jayden Standish lashed a one-out single to put runners on the corners and Kaitlyn Tammen walked to load the bases.
    Kaleigh Laesch reached on an error as Payne and Standish scored to tie the game. Dani Palmer gave Lexington the lead with a sacrifice fly that brought in Tammen. Laesch and Grace Michal, who had walked, scored when Hannah Hamilton reached on an error, making it 5-2. Jocelyn Beoletto scored when Payne reached on an error for a 6-2 lead.
    Blue Ridge got close after the second, but Lexington’s bats rattled for another eight runs over the third and fourth innings.
    The Minutemen got four runs in the third. Palmer scored on a groundout and Payne stroked a double that drove in two runs. Payne scored on Kaitlyn Little’s sacrifice fly.
    Palmer led off the fourth inning with a two-base hit. The bases were loaded after a one-out single from Beoletto and a walk to Hamilton. Payne then hit a sharp single to center that plated two runs for a 12-4 advantage.
    Tammen reached on an error with the bases load as Hamilton and Payne scored.
    Payne had a double, single, drove in four runs and scored thrice for the Minutemen. Beoletto had two hits and run batted in with Standish and Palmer each collecting two hits, including a double. Michal also singled.
    Underhill scattered nine hits, walked two and struck out six.
    EL PASO — Cheyenne Carr had one bad inning and received no run support as El Paso-Gridley dropped a 4-0 HOIC decision to Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley at South Pointe Park.
    The Falcons got to Carr for four runs in the fourth inning. Carr finished with eight strikeouts.
    However, the Titans fanned 13 times in the game and managed just three hits. Kayla Rote singled twice and Ashlyn Stone had a hit for EPG. Hannah Cobbley was the other Titan to reach base after walking in the fifth inning.