It was a brief, but powerful windy shower that fell during the Class 2A South Knox Sectional semifinal Tuesday when North Knox faced Linton.
But it wasn't as mighty as the two-day Miners' storm of third baseman Bradie Chambers and pitcher Alex Overman. Chambers knocked in four runs, including a first-inning, three-run homer, and Overman pitched a two-hitter with 13 strikeouts as Linton rolled, 7-0.
The Miners (14-10) eliminated the second county team in as many days with the same two players starring. Overman tossed a six-hit shutout Monday and Chambers collected two RBIs in their 3-0 triumph over South Knox in the opening round.
"Linton is a good team, and I give them all the credit," Warriors coach John Kixmiller said. "We just played them last week (a 5-1 loss). We knew what they did, but they adjusted better than we did on the pitches and were able to hit the ball."
Phoebe Worstell has carried the youthful Warriors (7-14) all season and did her best Tuesday with a double, single and walk in three plate appearances. But the rest of North Knox's lineup combined to go 0-for-22, with only Riley Petro and pinch-hitter Rylee Lemons reaching base on errors.
Worstell, who amassed a school record 253 strikeouts this season, added nine to that total in her final high school game before heading to Rose-Hulman to play softball next season. But the right-hander wasn't sharp, allowing nine hits and seven walks. Three of Linton's first four runs scored after reaching base on a walk.
"Phoebe, that girl is a workhorse. She pitched twice this week and four times last week. She tore a chunk off her finger last week, and I know it had to hurt," Kixmiller said. "Whenever she threw a pitch with spin on it, it always pulled on that finger, but she never complained. She wouldn't say it hurt if her finger fell off."
What was painful was Linton's top of the first, taking advantage of the wind howling out. Worstell nearly wriggled out of the jam started by two one-out walks. But with two outs, Chambers belted a 2-2 pitch high over the left-field fence to give the Miners a 3-0 lead. It was immediate trouble for North Knox, which averaged scoring less than three runs per game this season.
Chambers singled in a run in the fifth inning to make it 4-0. Syd Lockhart's RBI groundout, Overman's run-scoring single and Erin Elliott's RBI double pushed the advantage to 7-0 in the sixth.
The Warriors' best chance to score came in the sixth when Lemons reached on a dropped third strike and Worstell singled with two outs. But a strikeout ended the threat.
Like South Knox coach Doug Houchin said the night before, Kixmiller said he thought his team could have done better against Overman.
"We were taking her second pitch, the one on the outside corner way too often, and getting behind in the count," Kixmiller said. "We needed to adjust to that pitch, get out there and either hit it to right field or at least foul it off."
It was the final game of North Knox's senior battery of Worstell and Petro.
"Here I come in with no experience, and Phoebe made me look like a coach who knew what he was doing a lot of times," said Kixmiller of his first year leading the team. "Riley only caught as a freshman and sophomore, and didn't hit. She hit the ball well all season, and I know catching 60-65 mph pitches 100 times a game has to hurt.
"I can't give enough accolades to the both of them."
Linton|300 013 0 — 7 9 2
North Knox|000 000 0 — 0 2 1
W-Alex Overman. L-Phoebe Worstell. 2B-L, Erin Elliott; NK, Worstell. HR-L, Bradie Chambers.