How does a team manufacture five runs in the first inning without getting a hit? They show some patience and take advantage of some wild pitching.
That is exactly what the Lady Knights did to Mansfield Senior on Tuesday, April 10 at West Holmes High School, where the Lady Knights softball team scored five runs without getting a single hit in the first inning and rode that momentum to a 13-0 win in five innings.
The Lady Knights went station to station early on as they walked their way to five runs. When they weren’t drawing walks, they were getting plunked, and all told they received 14 walks and had six batters get hit by a pitch in the contest.
“When you don’t get to see a lot of strikes, it makes it tough on hitters, and it creates a slow-moving pace, so it becomes tougher to really stay focused,” West Holmes head coach Jaime Chenevey said.
All told, the highly potent Lady Knights offense managed just three hits on the night. Apparently that is one way to stop this high-octane offense from clubbing their way to 20 runs. The other oddity in the game was that West Holmes had four runners thrown out at home plate trying to advance on wild pitches and passed balls.
That helped keep the score relatively close, although the final result as far as a winner was never in doubt.
“It is hard to say you aren’t very pleased when you run-rule a team, but if I have to take away a negative for us, it would be that I was frustrated that we didn’t try to create any fire once we got into the game,” Chenevey said. “As the game progressed, we should have been expanding our strike zone and being more aggressive, and we just kind of sat back and accepted walks. In a game like this, you have to jump on that one good pitch when it comes in there, and we didn’t do a good job of that. As well as we have been hitting the ball, I was a little disappointed with our approach at the plate and with our lack of aggressiveness. At the same time it is hard because there were a lot of balls all over the place that were unhittable. We were OK, but we can’t be satisfied with just getting a run-rule win.”
On the mound, senior hurler Morgan flipped a two-hitter shut-out and most impressively walked just one batter on the cold evening, which is exactly what her head coach asked of her.
“The goal was to have one walk or less, and to only give up two hits means Morgan and the defense took care of business, so we are very pleased with both of those aspects of our game,” Chenevey said.
Jessica Yabroff and Lexi Martin were each 1-for-2 with two RBI. Maddie Woods earned the other Lady Knights hit while Jazz Knapp and Callie Cline each added two RBI.
One game earlier on a frigid Saturday, April 7 affair at West Holmes against Dover, the Lady Knights earned a 13-8 victory over a solid Crimson Tornadoes squad.
“The girls fought hard to play,” Chenevey said of the day that saw snow on the field before the game began. “They shoveled off the entire outfield so we could get a game in, then got the bats moving right away. We continued our torrid hitting and played solid defense to earn a nonconference win.”
Natalie Martin was 3-for-3, smashing a home run while driving in five runs. Callie Cline was 3-for-4 with three RBI, Woods was 2-for-5 with two doubles and an RBI, Knapp was 2-for-3 with a double, Yabroff was 2-for-4 with an RBI, and Jessie Keen was 1-for-3 with a double and an RBI. Morgan Allen and Lexi Martin added hits, and Liberty Arnold had an RBI.
West Holmes is now 7-2 overall and 3-0 in Ohio Cardinal Conference play.