If you were hoping to see a high school softball game with lots of runs and even more hits, then you should have been at Red Bank Tuesday afternoon.
Forget about a pitcher’s duel.
It was anything but as Red Bank combined with Signal Mountain to collect 30 hits while scoring 20 runs.
The Lionettes came out ahead on all counts in the District 6-AA opener for both teams with the 14-6 victory that was called with one out in the sixth.
Red Bank has a fine hitting team with a lot of veteran players returning. The Lionette offense appeared to be in mid-season form as they scored six runs in the first inning before adding four more in the fourth and then ending it with another four-spot in the sixth.
“We had a rough start, but it ended the right way,” said Red Bank coach Mandi Munn after her team opened the season with an impressive victory.
“Signal Mountain came out swinging the bats, but we have to learn how to avoid big innings like that. I’m pleased with how well we hit it today, but we still have plenty of work to do,” she added.
Signal Mountain coach Martha Hanzelik saw plenty of reason for optimism.
“They have some great hitters and we have a young pitcher, but we just need to keep hitting like we did in the first inning. We had a couple of lulls after that, but we didn’t give up. I’m not real familiar with all the teams in our district, but I’m pretty sure that Red Bank will probably be our toughest competition,” she nodded.
Senior Hannah Wood was the winning pitcher, although her performance on the mound wasn’t much to write home about. She went the distance and allowed all six runs on 11 hits. She also had six strikeouts and two walks.
She was also a big force at the plate with two home runs and a double in four trips as she scored twice and drove in three runs.
Erica Woodward, who is only an eighth grader, got a rude welcome to the world of high school softball as she took the loss after allowing 14 runs on 19 hits while striking out three and walking none.
Eight of the 11 Red Bank players who batted collected at least one hit.
Catcher Shelby Romans had four, including a two-run homer in the first that was one of five round-trippers that Red Bank hit on the day.
Lexie Wright, Sammy Shrader and Wood all had three hits apiece while Zoe Helms came off the bench to get two hits, including a two-run double in the sixth.
The Lady Eagles jumped on Wood in the first as they batted around, collecting five hits and scoring four runs.
Payton Albritton led off with a double before Cecilia Abello followed with a single. Losing pitcher Erica Woodward lined to Wood for the first out before Audrey Coreter drove in the first run with a single to left.
Jordan Wright reached on a single to right before L.P. Sitton drove in two more with a double to left-center. Joci Parker’s fielder’s choice plated the fourth run before Wood retired the side with back-to-back strikeouts.
Chances are good that four-run first woke up the Lionettes and may have made them a bit mad as they came right back to score six runs on five hits.
Wood and Romans both had two-run homers in the inning while Bailee Phillips drove in the final run with the third dinger of the frame.
Nobody scored in the second or third innings, but the Lionettes batted around again in the fourth as they extended the lead to 10-6 with four more runs, highlighted by a two-run homer by Wright and a solo shot by Wood.
The Lady Eagles scored their final two runs in the top of the sixth with Woodward’s fielder’s choice driving in one and Coreter’s single plating the second.
Shrader and Romans reached with singles to lead off Red Bank’s sixth and both scored on a double to right-center by Helms. Phillips drove in another run with a double while pinch-hitter Taylor Petty ended it with an infield single to drive in the final run.
Red Bank returns to action on Wednesday with a game at GPS while Signal Mountain will be at Lookout Valley on Friday.
SIGNAL MOUNTAIN 400 002 – 6 11 1
RED BANK 600 404 – 14 19 1
Woodward and Coreter; Wood and Romans.
(Email John Hunt at firstname.lastname@example.org)