April 27, 2012 — Eight innings.
No, this wasn’t one game with an extra inning, this was two, and that was all it took for the Rowan County Lady Vikings softball team to pick up two more wins on the year, as it knocked off Morgan County twice in a double header on Tuesday.
In the first matchup, the Lady Vikings used a combination of dynamic defense to pick up a 16-1 mercy win in the fifth inning.
The girls in green managed 11 hits in the first outing, including a big triple to the right field wall by Mackenzie Summers.
Despite winning six of seven games prior to the trip to West Liberty, the Lady Vikings had struggled somewhat offensively.
Rowan County Head Coach Larry Slone said it was good to see his team start to hit the ball again.
“We hit the ball really well tonight,” Slone said. “I’ve been proud of the way we’ve kept our errors down lately, and that has helped us win. But, it was nice to see us step up to the plate and hit the ball with confidence.”
It was another solid night on the hill for Slone’s team, with Lady Viking pitcher Abby Hammond delivering six strikeouts while only giving up four hits to the Lady Cougars.
The opener also served as fielding showcase for Slone’s team, with a notable play taking place in the fourth.
Freshman Becca Duff caught a fly ball by Morgan’s Heather Haney to deep left field. Duff then threw the ball in to cut-off person Alli Banks, who made the toss to Tessa Jennings at first before a Morgan runner could get back to base to tag up.
Other noteworthy offense in the game was a rarely seen in-the-park homerun for Rowan catcher Lindsey Wilson.
Hopes of a Lady Cougar comeback were thwarted when a force out at third enabled Rowan the dominating victory.
Their would be no redemption on this night for Morgan’s girls, as the Lady Vikes managed 12 runs throughout the first three innings.
Hammond also continued her stranglehold on the home team, rocketing six strikeouts with no hits allowed in just three innings on the mound.
Fellow Hammond, sister Meghan Hammond came in for her sister in the fourth, tossing two strikeouts of her own to complete the no hitter.
Rowan County pitcher Abby Hammond commented on her great night on the mound.
“I owe the success to my teammates,” Hammond said. “It's a whole lot easier to pitch when the team is scoring a lot of runs and making great plays in the fielding game.”
Mackenzie Summers and Alli Banks led the way on offense, each rocking out a triple and double apiece.
Slone said his team has definitely picked it up in the second part of the season.
“We are playing better as of late, that’s for sure,” Slone said. “We’ve got some tough games ahead of us though, especially this weekend when we head down to Powell County to play George Rogers Clark, Perry County Central and East Carter again. We’re confident though, and this team is finally starting to gel together.”
The Lady Vikings will take part in yet another tournament this weekend, when it travels to Powell County for the Tanner Dodge Classic.
We will have more on Rowan County’s trip to Stanton in Tuesday’s edition of The Morehead News.
Grant Stevens can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at 784-4116.