Teams combine for 34 hits in SHAC battle –
Story and photos by Mark Carpenter –
Though Manchester head coach John Kennedy could laugh after the game about how “that missed extra point killed us”, he really didn’t leave his home field on Friday in that good of a mood. Kennedy’s Lady Hounds hosted the Whiteoak Lady Wildcats in Southern Hills Athletic Conference action with the home team looking to avenge an earlier 10-8 defeat.
One thing about sports is that you can never predict what might happen and no one guessed that Friday’s game would turn out to be a major slugfest with the two teams combining for 34 hits, 23 of those for the Lady Cats, as Whiteoak used two seven run innings to defeat the Lady Hounds by a final score of 21-13. This wasn’t a case of the home team being sloppy on defense as they had been in some other losses this spring, but a case of the Lady Cats practicing the old adage, “hit ’em where they ain’t.” Manchester pitchers threw strikes and Whiteoak hitters found the holes all over the field in amassing their 21 runs and 23 hits.
“I told my girls after the game that sometimes that just happens, that every hit finds a hole,” said Coach Kennedy. “I thought we actually hit the ball harder than they did but we hit everything where they were at. No excuses, that’s just the way it goes sometimes, you really can’t do anything about it.”
The Lady Cats wasted no time in Friday’s contest, bouncing right off the bus and sending 12 batters to the plate and putting up seven runs in the top of the first inning off of Manchester starter McKenzie Bell.
Not to be outdone, the Lady Hounds came to the dish in their half of the first and mounted a comeback. Katie Sandlin led off with a base hit to left, followed by a walk to Karley Young. Kya Taylor reached on an error that allowed Sandlin to score and a Madison Jones single to left loaded the bases. Catcher Josie Campbell stepped to the plate and drilled a single to right, scoring Young and Taylor to make it 7-3. A sacrifice fly to left by designated hitter Miranda Shiltz brought Jones home and a base hit to left by McKinlee Grooms drove home courtesy runner Aaliyah Smith to pull the home team within 7-5.
Whiteoak added to the lead in the top of the third, picking up a single run, but the Lady Hounds stormed into the lead in their half of the third, sending up 11 batters and scoring seven times. Campbell and Shiltz began the frame with back to back doubles, followed by a walk to Grooms and a Bell single that filled the bases. A wild pitch brought Shiltz across and a walk to Taylor Morrison again loaded the bases. Grooms came home when Young grounded to short and the throw home was too late and then Taylor came within just a few feet of knocking a grand slam homer, smacking one to the opposite field and off the right field fence to drive home a pair and put her team on top 10-8.
One out later, an infield hit by Campbell brought home another run and a wild pitch allowed Taylor to cross with seventh run of the inning and a 12-8 Manchester lead, that unfortunately, didn’t last long.
In the top of the fourth, the Lady Cats came out hammering again, this time to the tune of eight hits and seven runs, the highlight being a bases-clearing three-run triple to right by Jaycie Parr. When the dust had cleared, it was Whiteoak back on top on the scoreboard by a score of 15-12 and this time they did not give it away.
After the Lady Hounds went down 1-2-3 in the fourth, the top of the fifth saw the Lady Cats pad their lead with a four-spot off of Manchester reliever Madison Jones that made it 19-12. No one dented the scoring column again until the top of the seventh, when two errors by the Lady Hounds led to a pair of unearned runs for the Lady Cats and a formidable 21-12 advantage.
The Manchester girls had one more shot and picked up one in the bottom of the seventh on an RBI ground out by Jones, but that was too little, too late, as a hard-hit ground ball to the mound off the bat of Campbell turned into the final out in an eight-run win for the visitors.
The victorious Lady Cats got big days at the plate from Parr and Lexi Jones, each of whom banged out five hits with Parr also being the winning pitcher, with Courtney Gross adding four base knocks. Every player in the Whiteoak lineup had at least one hit in the win.
For the Lady Hounds, Josie Campbell went 3 for 4 and drive in a trio of runs, matching the RBI production of teammate Kya Taylor. Karley Young and McKenzie Bell each had two hits for the home team.
The loss dropped the Lady Hounds to 7-7 on the spring, 3-7 in the SHAC.
701 740 2 –21
507 000 1 –13
Whiteoak Hitting (AB-R-H-RBI): Gross 6-4-4-2, Parr 6-3-5-3. Chisman 6-2-1-2, Jones 6-3-5-2, Ames 3-2-2-3, Steele 6-3-3-3, Raines 5-1-1-1, Botts 4-2-1-1, Berkely 4-1-1-2, Team 46-21-23-19.
Extra-Base Hits: Gross 2B, Ames 2B, Berkley 2B, Parr 2B, 3B
Manchester Hitting (AB-R-H-RBI): Sandlin 4-2-1-0, Young 4-2-2-1, Taylor 5-2-1-3, Jones 5-1-0-1, Campbell 4-0-3-3, Shiltz 3-1-1-2, Grooms 2-1-1-1, Bell 4-1-2-0, Morrison 1-2-0-0, Scott 1-0-0-0, Smith 0-2-0-0, Team 33-13-11-11.
Extra-Base Hits: Campbell 2B, Taylor 2B, Shiltz 2B
Winning Pitcher: Parr
Losing Pitcher: Bell