The Hiland Lady Hawks could get used to this double-figure scoring, not just in a game, but in an inning.
For the third time in four games, Hiland put up a 10-plus run inning, this time against Conotton Valley, in what would eventually turn into a lopsided 18-2 win Thursday, April 30 at Hiland.
The Hiland scoring frenzy began early and didn’t stop until Hiland had pounded out 19 hits in the game, through just four innings.
Kelsey Mast led off the game with a single, Brittany Wengerd doubled her home and Ally Aleshire followed that up with a two-bagger to give Hiland a 2-0 lead. Hayley Schrock walked and Aleshire scored on a passed ball, and after Megan Kandel flew out, Lindsey Yoder mashed a triple to make it 4-0. Ashley Weaver’s ground out scored Yoder and it was 5-0 Hiland before fans could even settle into their seats.
While the rain kept it cool in the early going, Hiland’s bats were red hot.
“We’re seeing the ball really well right now, and we are starting to drive the ball a lot better,” said Erica Glasener, Hiland coach. “We hit a ton of gap shots tonight that they just couldn’t o anything about.”
The Lady Hawks got two more in the second, courtesy of another Aleshire double and RBI Kandel’s base hit.
Conotton Valley scored a run in the fourth, but that only seemed to make the Hiland hitters angry, as the Lady Hawks sent 11 runners across home plate in the bottom of the inning to make it 18-1.
Schrock singled to start the melee, and Kandel doubled her home. Yoder got aboard on an infield single, and Makayla Ryan brought in a run with a sacrifice fly. Weaver singled in a run, Mast tripled in another, and Wengerd spanked her second double to make it 12-1. The fiery-hot Aleshire singled Wengerd to third, and she scored on Schrock’s single. Kandel then laced Hiland’s third triple of the game to make it 15-1.
Yoder RBI single, a Ryan single, and another base hit by Weaver finished the monster rally.
Hiland gift-wrapped an unearned run for the Rockets in the fifth, kind of a going-home present, but it mattered little.
With Conotton Valley struggling to record outs against the Hiland offense, Glasener said it wasn’t her objective to run up the score, but for a young team trying to find its groove at the plate, the hits are what can build confidence, which can then carry over from game to game.
‘The last thing we want to do is run the score up on a team, but at the same time, it is a confidence boost for us,” said Glasener. “That is a big deal for us right now to see that kind of success and put that kind of confident mind-set in our kids heads.”
That confidence continues to grow, and Hiland has now put up scores of 20, 18 and 13 in three of their last four games, all wins.
“The girls are starting to have fun and enjoy this now,” said Glasener. “When you can relax and have fun in this game, that is what it is really all about.”
On the day, Aleshire stayed on top of her game, pounding out three hits including a pair of doubles, while driving in three and scoring three. Mast banged out three its and scored three runs, Ryan added a hit and three stolen bases, Kandel had a huge day, going 3-for-4 while driving in three and scoring a pair, Yoder recorded three hits, scoring three times while driving in two RBI, Schrock banged out a pair of hits and scored three times, while Weaver collected a pair of hits and drove in four runs.
On the mound, Aleshire picked up the win, going three innings, allowing just one hit, one run, striking out seven and walking four.
Wengerd finished up, throwing two innings of one-hit, one-run ball, striking out one. Her one run was unearned.
Hiland now stands at 4-13 on the season, but with the bats operating at peak performance, the team seems to be gelling at the right time.