Currie Nearly Untouchable in the Circle
By Will Johnson
OAKWOOD – It’s Spring Break for many of the area high schools but before the Grapeland Sandiettes could officially begin to enjoy a week off, they had a date with the Oakwood Lady Panthers on Monday, March 11.
When the Sandiettes hit the field in Oakwood, it almost seemed like they were in a hurry to get to their time off as they pounded out 18 runs on 19 hits in three innings. From the circle, Cadie Belle Currie was almost perfect as struck out nine of the 10 batters she faced as Grapeland shellacked the Lady Panthers by a final score of 18-0.
As the game got underway, Cierra Simon led off with a single. She stole second and third and when Kiera DeCluette singled up the middle of the infield, Simon scored – and the rout was on.
DeCluette stole second and crossed home plate when Cheney Boyd ripped a shot to center. Boyd took second on the throw to the infield. She moved to third on a bunt from Diamond Dunn. Currie was up next and the Grapeland pitcher doubled to center, driving in both Boyd and Dunn.
Ragan Bowie came in as a courtesy runner for Currie and scampered home on a Madi McCombs double to left. McCombs crossed the dish when KeKe Harris tripled to the gap in left-center field and just like that, the score was 6-0.
Haylee Reed kept the inning going after she reached on an error. Jessi Cunningham was up next and grounded back to Oakwood’s pitcher, Masa Youngblood, who threw to first for out number one in the inning. On the play, however, Harris scored and Reed moved to third.
Two pitches later, Simon was back at the plate and she deposited an off-speed pitch over the fence in center field for a two-run jack to make the score 9-0.
The Sandiettes still were not through in the first. DeCluette, Boyd, Dunn and Currie all picked up their second hit of the inning as they all singled while DeCluette, Boyd and Dunn all scored to make the score 12-0 with one out.
Bowie came in to run for Currie but was stranded on the base paths after McCombs and Harris grounded out to end the top of the first.
When Currie took the circle, she was just flat out dominant. Her first pitch to Avery Hardin was a ball, but Currie’s next three were all strikes as Hardin went down swinging. Kelsey Burch was up next. She fouled the first pitch off, swung and missed at the second and then watched the third go by for a called strike three.
The third batter to face Currie was Youngblood and she didn’t fare any better than her teammates as she fell victim to a three-pitch K from Currie to end the inning.
The Sandiettes were back at it again in the top of the second. Reed walked on four pitches and moved to second on a groundout by Cunningham. Simon followed in the order and lofted a high, fly ball to center that was misplayed for an error.
The miscue allowed Reed to score from second and gave Simon the opportunity to take third on the same play. An infield single by DeCluette held Simon at third, but a two-bagger from Boyd plated both Simon and DeCluette to make the score 15-0.
Boyd took third on the play but three pitches later, Boyd got hung up on the base paths and was called out. Currie followed with a groundout to end the top the second for the Sandiettes.
For both Currie and the Lady Panthers, the second inning was a carbon copy of the first inning. Railey Hardin had a four pitch strike out. She was followed by Kaeley Bean with a three-pitch strike out and then Essence Watkins found the same fate.
When the Sandiettes came to bat in the third, they added three more runs to their total. Madi McCombs led off the inning with a hard shot to second and beat the throw at first. Harris grounded out but moved McCombs to second.
Reed attempted to bunt her way on base but was called out at the bag, while McCombs scampered into third.
Makayla McCombs was up next and slapped a shot past short to plate Madi McCombs. Simon followed with a triple to drive in Makayla McCombs and DeCluette drove her in with a single to center. Boyd doubled and moved DeCluette to third but both DeCluette and Boyd were stranded when Paige Mullen struck out to end the inning.
With an 18-0 lead, Currie nicked Bobbye Freeman with a pitch to lead off the bottom of the third and give the Lady Panthers their first baserunner of the game.
That was as close to a scoring opportunity as Oakwood would get however, as Currie stuck out Cheri Ballard on three pitches and Janice Neyland on four. Freeman worked her way to third on two runner indifference steals, but Currie closed things out as she caught A. Hardin looking at strike three to end the game.
Currie was credited with the win after going three innings. She threw a no-hitter for the second consecutive game, held the Lady Panthers scoreless, only allowed one baserunner – when she hit Freeman – rang up nine Ks and didn’t walk anyone.
Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.