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story.lead_photo.caption Democrat photo/Evan HolmesInfielder Baylee Wood hits a double to center field.

Last Tuesday, California High School's Lady Pintos softball team went toe-to-toe with Tri-County Conference rival Blair Oaks High School in Wardsville.

The Lady Pintos were coming off a historic appearance at the Versailles/California Turf War Tournament, during which senior pitcher Ellie Clay threw back-to-back no-hitters against Osage and Marshall. After going 2-1 at the Turf War Tournament, the Lady Pintos got themselves back to a .500 record at 9-9. But they would be considered the underdogs on Tuesday, going against a Lady Falcons team with an overall record of 13-4.

The upset wasn't to be, as Blair Oaks held the Lady Pintos scoreless and chalked up a 13-0 victory, bringing the Lady Pintos' record to 9-10.

Clay took the mound for the Lady Pintos, looking to add to her already impressive resumé of victories this season. Instead, the Lady Falcons had other ideas and jumped on Clay and the Lady Pintos with four hits early on, three in the first inning.

In the third inning, with the score still 3-0 for Blair Oaks, the Lady Falcons took over the game. The Lady Pintos struggled to get batters out and California's defenders committed four errors. Blair Oaks took advantage of California's mistakes and scored five runs in both the fourth and fifth innings.

After retiring the side in the fifth inning, the Lady Falcons ended the game in only five innings and defeated the Lady Pintos 13-0. It was the first time all season that the Lady Pintos have been held scoreless in a game. California struggled on both sides of the ball, only earning two hits in five innings with four errors.

"They went through their lineup and they never hit the ball hard. It's frustrating when your pitcher is hitting them on the hands and they're not hitting the ball hard," said Lady Pintos head coach Steven Stock. "It's hard to play a team who plays at that high of a level to get down because they're not going to beat themselves. We just didn't play well today against a good team."

The Lady Pintos were quick to respond to that blowout defeat and defeated another conference rival, the Boonville Lady Pirates, 2-1 on a walk-off wild pitch Thursday.

With their record back to .500 at 10-10, California is in the home stretch of their schedule as they enter the final full week of the regular season.

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