By Perry Bell Sports Editor
The Journal Express
---- — Knoxville picked up its first win of the season Saturday at the Oskaloosa Softball Tournament.
The Panthers started off fast as eighth grader, Shaye Nichols hit a home run to open the first inning of play in the first game of the day.
The Nichols blast high over the left field fence gave the Panthers a 1-0 lead over the Lynnville-Sully Hawks.
In the bottom of the fourth Knoxville added another run as Cheyenne Jones drove in Marissa Lenger for a 2-0 advantage.
The Hawks cut the Panther advantage in half with a run in the top of the fifth.
Knoxville’s defense played solid behind the pitching of freshman Emily Wallace.
Wallace tossed a seven-hitter at the Hawks. She fanned two and walked nobody in earning the win.
Knoxville catcher Taylor Carter threw out two runners attempting to steal, one of them coming in the seventh.
Nichols was 2-for-3 at the plate for Knoxville and Lenger had one hit in the win.
In the second game of the day, the Panthers dropped a 6-1 verdict to the Eddyville-Blakesburg Rockets.
The Rockets scored solo runs in the first, fifth and sixth innings and tossed in three runs in the second.
Knoxville’s lone run crossed the plate in the sixth.
Wallace took the pitching defeat, allowing the Rockets six runs on 12 hits.
Lenger and Carrie Chambers each were 1-for-3 for the Panthers. Lenger’s hit was a double.
Lucy Olson reached base twice with walks.
The Panthers are now 1-4 overall while the Rockets improved to 5-2.
Knoxville travels to Newton tonight (Friday) to face the Cardinals in a conference game starting at 7:30.