Freshman leads the way in 10-0 run rule win over Ripley –
By Mark Carpenter –
After two days of rain outs to begin the week, the Manchester Lady Greyhounds were the first local squad to get back in action as they matched up with the Ripley Lady Jays in a Southern Hills Athletic Conference tilt on April 25. Even though the game was actually a home game for the Lady Jays, it was played on the dry home field of the Lady Hounds and turned out to be one memorable day for Manchester freshman Brooke Kennedy.
It was a day of first for the multi-talented Kennedy, who not only pitched the first no-hitter of her high school career, but also blasted a solo homer to left as the Lady Hounds improved to 9-4 on the season with the six-inning 10-0 run rule victory.
The Lady Jays never really came close to a hit off of the Manchester freshman, who walked 3 and struck out 9 on the way to her sixth win of the spring in the center circle, against just two losses. The whitewash of Ripley also lowered the right hander’s earned run average for the season to 1.90. As if the pitching performance wasn’t enough, Kennedy also went 4 for 4 at the plate, scored four runs, including the homer to left in the top of the sixth.
Kennedy’s battery mate, junior Josie Campbell, who is hitting .614 for the season, also went 4 for 4 and drove home three runs, part of a 14-hit attack for the Lady Hounds, who got the offense rolling with a pair of runs in the top of the first inning on back to back doubles by Karley Young and Kennedy and a run-producing single to center by Campbell.
The Lady Hounds kept that two-run advantage until the top of the third, when they added three more runs, the first two scoring on ground outs by Katie Sandlin and Yasmin Lucas and the third coming on a Kya Taylor single that made it 5-0.
As Kennedy rolled through the Ripley lineup, the Manchester offense added three more in the top of the fourth. After the first two hitters were retired, Aaliyah Smith singled and came home on another two-base hit by Young, then Campbell added to her RBI total with a two-run single to center and the Lady Hounds were up 8-0.
In the top of the sixth with one out, Kennedy took a cut at the first pitch she saw from Ripley’s Meggie Scott and deposited it over the left field fence for a solo homer, the first of her high school career. Campbell followed with a double down the left field line and scored on a Sandlin ground out to give the Lady Hounds a 10-run advantage.
With the run rule now in effect, Kennedy finished off her gem in the bottom of the sixth, striking out the side to close out the no-no and the ninth win of the year for the Lady Hounds, keeping them in the mix in the small school division of the SHAC with a 5-3 conference mark at press time.
The Lady Hounds have some tough conference action ahead, a run that began on Thursday with a trip to first-place Fayetteville. They also have to finish a weather-delayed game with Fairfield where they were down 8-0 late plus face the Lady Lions in a second SHAC contest. The Manchester squad will a so find out their tournament path this weekend, part of a tough Division IV sectional bracket.
Manchester Hitting (AB-R-H-RBI): Smith 4-1-1-0, K. Young 3-3-2-1, Kennedy 4-4-4-2, Campbell 4-1-4-3, Sandlin 3-0-0-2, Lucas 4-1-0-1, Taylor 3-0-2-1, Brown 2-0-0-0, Grooms 1-0-1-0, Morrison 3-0-0-0, Team 31-10-14-10.
Extra-Base Hits: Campbell 2B, Kennedy 2B, HR, K. Young 2B (2)
Kennedy (W) 6 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 9 K