By Stephen Buus
Stockton, Mo. — Amie Garver was one pitch away from a complete game victory when the unthinkable happened.
The Stockton sophomore hurler, looking to close out a 9-5 victory against Mid-Lakes Conference rival Skyline, threw a 2-out, 3-2 pitch to Grace Turnbow only to have her left knee pop on her follow-through and Garver collapsed to the dirt in a heap.
Garver recalled, “I think I landed on my left foot sideways instead of forward, and it just went out from under me.”
Stockton coach Lisa Kenney described the situation as a “collateral strain,” but Garver will need further examination to determine if there was further injury.
“Initially she was in a lot of pain and she said she couldn’t move it,” Kenney said of Garver. “She said she heard it pop and that’s usually a bad sign.”
Kaitlyn Creek moved over from first base to finish the game, hitting her first batter but then making a diving backhand stab of a line drive from Ashton Owen to raise Stockton’s overall record to 5-10 (2-2 MLC).
The game was tied 2-2 when Stockton rallied for 5 runs in the bottom of the fourth inning. The Lady Tigers only managed one RBI single by Ireland Smith in the frame, but also benefited from 3 walks and 3 wild pitches from Skyline’s Savannah Owen and a throwing error. Aggressive base running by the Lady Tigers paid off.
“We started out playing a little bit slow,” said Kenney, “but lately they’ve been really getting after it well, and they’re getting more confidence too. That makes a huge difference too, you know, more comfortable running.
Also for Stockton, Harrly Gray had a leadoff triple, reached base 3 times and scored 2 runs. Garver doubled and scored in the first inning. Smith and Liz Fuller scored 2 runs each.
“I think we were a little too anxious at times,” Kenney said of her team’s four hits against Owen.
Skyline (7-9, 0-4) got 2 hits and 2 runs from Codie Story; 2 hits and 2 runs from Kenzi Carver; and 2 triples and a RBI from Hannah Benedict.
Skyline coach Jeremy Owen said, “We’ve played a lot better games that that one this year, for sure. I thought we were ready to play Stockton and I don’t think we were from the beginning. Our pitcher struggled and we had errors in the field.
“Some of our speed kids didn’t get on base tonight. We’ve played some really close games because of our aggressive running on the bases. They made some great plays defensively tonight.”
Stockton returns to action on Monday at Strafford. Skyline hosts Cole Camp on Monday.