Lady Lions’ Pitching, Bats Dominate
By Will Johnson
LOVELADY – The Lovelady Lady Lions are crushing their competition. They currently have an overall record of 22-1-1 with a perfect 11-0 mark in District 21-2A competition. So far this season, the Lady Lions have crossed the plate 295 times while holding their opponents to only 22.
It gets even better when you only allow for league games only where Lovelady has scratched out 197 runs compared to only four for the opposition. Tuesday afternoon was no different as the Lady Lions pounded out 13 hits for 15 runs while Mimi Sandoval threw a perfect, four-inning game as she struck out all 12 batters she faced in a 15-0 rout of the Alto Lady Jackets.
Lovelady wasted little time getting cranked up in the pitcher’s circle as Sandoval needed only nine pitches to strike out the side as Kylee Powers, Presley Griffith and Shanna Berryhill all struck out swinging to end the top of the first.
While Sandoval was hot in the circle, the Lady Lions’ bats were equally as hot at the dish as they plated seven runs in the bottom of the first.
Scout Lovell led off with a line drive to left and moved to second on a Jacy Stubblefield bunt. Linda Martinez was up next and reached first on a fielder’s choice, when the Lady Jackets tried to catch Lovell at third.
With the bases loaded, Alto’s pitcher – Destiny Hart – uncorked a wild pitch, allowing Lovell to score from third while advancing Stubblefield and Martinez to third and second. Sandoval was next in the batter’s box and slapped a shot to third.
The third baseman threw home to try and catch Stubblefield, but the speedy senior was too fast and scored the game’s second run. On the play, Martinez moved to third while Sandoval took second.
Another wild pitch brought in Martinez as Sandoval moved to third. A dropped third strike allowed Bailee Albinus to reach first base safely while Sandoval held up at third. Rylee Biedrzycki followed in the lineup and slapped a shot into right which allowed Sandoval to trot home and moved Albinus to third. On the throw in from the outfield, Biedrzycki slid safely into second.
Morgan Womack was up next and she pounded a single into left field which plated Albinus and Biedrzycki to make the score 6-0. Womack moved to second on the throw in from the outfield.
Erin Sample followed in the batting order and sacrificed Womack to third. McKenna Pierce grounded out to third but on the play, Womack scampered home to make it 7-0. After batting around, Lovell came up again. Fortunately for Alto, Lovell hit into an inning ending 5-3 force to retire the Lady Lions.
When Sandoval returned to the circle to start the second inning, it took her a few more pitches, but once again she struck out the Lady Jackets in order as Halle Duplichain and Reanna Guinn struck out swinging while Martinez hung on to a foul tip from Brionnia Tilley to end the top half of the first.
Lovelady threatened to blow the game wide open in the second but couldn’t cross the plate thanks to some outstanding defense by Alto. Stubblefield led off with a double and Martinez drew a walk. Sandoval hit into a fielder’s choice but everyone was called safe as the Lady Lions had loaded the bases, once again.
That was when the Lady Jackets defense stung the Lady Lions. Albinus hit a ball to Berryhill at third who fired to Duplichain at home for the fist out. Biedrzycki and Womack followed suit and despite having the bases juiced with no outs, Lovelady came away with nothing.
Sandoval was back at it again in the top of the third as she struck out the side in order, yet again. Arabella Heredia, Jayda Lawrence and Hart all fanned on three pitches apiece to end the top of the third.
After squandering a golden opportunity in the previous inning, Lovelady managed to plate a pair of runs in the bottom of the third. Sample led off with a single into left but was gunned down at second when Pierce hit into a fielder’s choice.
Lovell popped up for the second out of the inning but Stubblefield followed with a seeing eye single into center. Pierce took third on the hit while Stubblefield advanced to second on the throw in. Martinez was up next and singled into right driving in Sample and Pierce to make the score 9-0.
Sandoval lined to third for the final out, but when she returned to the circle, she took out her frustration on the Alto hitters as she caught Powers swinging at strike three, got Griffith to wave at a pitch out of the strike zone for the second out and then got Berryhill to swing and miss on three consecutive pitches to retire the side.
Up by nine, the Lady Lions closed out the game when they came to bat. Albinus jacked the first pitch she saw in the fourth inning over the wall in center to make it 10-0. Biedrzycki and Womack both drew walks as Haven Pager entered the lineup for Sample.
Prager delivered on the second pitch she faced as she roped a pitch into left, driving in Biedrzycki while Womack motored into third. Prager moved to second on the play. Pierce was up next and lofted a high fly ball to center which allowed Womack to tag up and score from third.
Lovell followed with a single as Prager was able to scoot home on an error to make the score 13-0. An error and a passed ball allowed Lovell to score. Stubblefield was up next and reached on an infield hit. A single from Martinez moved her to second and then a pair of wild pitches brought Stubblefield home to end the game by run-rule with the score 15-0 after four innings of play.
Sandoval was magnificent in the circle as she struck out all 12 batters she faced on a total of 42 pitches. Stubblefield and Martinez led the way for Lovelady at the plate as Stubblefield was 4-4 with three runs scored while Martinez was 2-3 with two RBI and one run scored.
Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.