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Solar power energizes softball team

By: Cecil Conley, Sports Editor
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Shelby Jones was hoping for a few days off. Actually, the Lincoln High School senior’s left knee needed a break after being drilled by a line drive March 17 in the Zebras’ 5-3 win over Antelope. Mother Nature came to Jones’ rescue last week by preventing the third baseman and her teammates from playing. Lincoln’s two games last week were rained out, giving Jones time to heal. Coach Donna Tofft played it safe Monday by having Jones be the designated hitter for the Zebras in their 9-4 victory at Woodland. The game was rescheduled after being washed out last Thursday. Jones played the final two innings at third base after Lincoln scored four runs in the top of the sixth to build a five-run lead. Junior Ashleigh Stidman’s two-run double was the big hit in the sixth. A double may have been out of the question for Jones because her knee is swollen and bruised. She sustained more pain in Monday’s game when she was hit by a pitch near her right ankle. Jones’ aching has not been limited to her legs. Earlier this season, a grounder struck her in the throat after it caromed off her bare hand. Softballs are attracted to Jones as if she was a magnet. “I’m beat up,” she said. “(Rain) was the best thing (last week). I’m actually glad we didn’t get to play.” The Zebras hope Jones’ knee will be better by Friday when they open the Pioneer Valley League by hosting Bear River. The game will be the starting gun in the race for the league championship. At least the Zebras will not have to worry about the weather for a change. Sophomore Abi Lund breathed a sigh of relief Monday morning when she rolled out of bed and saw the sky was bright blue. “I missed the sunshine,” Lund said. “I love being out in the sun. I need to get a tan.” Lund launched a ball into the blue sky in the fourth inning. Her two-out, three-run double gave Lincoln a 5-1 lead. Just when it appeared the Zebras were in control, they got careless on defense. The Wolves took advantage, scoring three runs in the bottom of the fourth to make it a one-run game. One concern for Tofft has been her team’s inability to put away an opponent after taking the lead. She has warned her players on more than one occasion that they are asking for trouble. “We lack that killer instinct,” Lund said. “When we start scoring, we have to keep it going. We didn’t get much work on the field last week. It was refreshing for us to play a game, but we were rusty.”