About the most damage Dots pitcher Miranda Linville allowed in Thursday's Class AA Region 4 semifinal was a busted light mounted behind and above the backstop in Poca.
Linville gave up six hits and two unearned runs while striking out eight as Poca finally got past Sissonville 4-2, defeating the Indians for the first time in four tries this season and eliminating them from the postseason.
After the game, Linville made no bones about the importance of ousting the rival Indians.
"It definitely feels 10 times better beating them because they always beat us and they're usually overconfident and think we're an easy win. So, it definitely feels great that we finally pulled out the win over them," Linville said. "We just had more energy and we were more confident. And, it's a little bit of a rivalry."
Linville was dominant early, taking a no-hitter into the fourth inning until Kaytee Gibson came to bat and figuratively and literally seemed to shatter the Dots' momentum. Gibson fouled a pitch off the top of the backstop and into a light, sending glass raining down onto the field of play. Poca coaches and umpires halted the game for about seven minutes while cleanup duties were performed. Gibson singled during the same at-bat to break up the no-hitter but was eventually stranded.
The Dots did the majority of their damage in the top of the third as Morgan Lucas and Morgan Ball hit RBI singles sandwiched around an RBI double off the top of the wall from Linville. Despite five errors from Poca, Linville got just enough help from her defense to make it stand.
"This one feels good, I thought we didn't make many mistakes early in the game, we did toward the end, but our seniors like Morgan Lucas came through with a big hit and Miranda pitched a real good game," Poca coach David Skeens said. "She kept Sissonville off balance I thought."
Poca (16-12) atoned for one of its errors in a key situation in the bottom of the fifth. Sissonville loaded the bases with two outs and Katie Holmes hit a liner that was dropped by second baseman Amanda Smalley. Shortstop Morgan Lucas was backing up the play, however, and tagged a sliding Dee Dee Loftis just before her foot touched second base for the third out of the inning. Sissonville stranded six runners in the final three innings.