Kelly uses its running game to slam Red Birds
BENTON -- Preparing themselves for another playoff run, the Kelly Lady Hawks opened the 2007 prep softball season Monday, defeating the East Carter Lady Red Birds 12-1 in five innings.
The Lady Hawks played in typical fashion, scoring on nearly every chance they had. After a vigorous training session throughout the summer, the Kelly showed its dedication to putting it all on the line at gametime.
Going into the game, head coach Rhonda Ratledge seemed optimistic of the season ahead, stating that the girls were young, but they've had pretty good experience playing in the summer leagues.
It was clear that the Lady Hawks had been playing all summer long. Kelly generated 12 runs in only four innings, scoring 11 of those runs in the first three innings.
"It's always good to get that first win of the year," Ratledge said after her team improved to 1-0 this season. "It keeps everybody on the up-beat, and keeps us going strong."
Early on, the Lady Hawks needed to move runners, and move them efficiently. They only left six on base during the game, and had only one inning was multiple runners left on base.
"The girls were running today. They looked good on the bases, and when we had runners in scoring position, we moved them very effectively," Ratledge said. "We only had one running mistake on the base path. But you know, sometimes you have those. It's early in the year."
Through all of the victorious seasons coaching the Lady Hawks, Ratledge's philosophy remains the same.
"We need to put runs on the board early. We've got to get the girls moving," Ratledge said. "We've got to get our runners in scoring position and get our bunts down to move them around. It's how you win the big games."
Ratledge has coached enough big games to know that one run is never enough. Even though the Lady Hawks flew past East Carter, she said there is still work to do.
"We have to stick to our gameplan," Ratledge said. "It's hard to work on things between games with no practice time in there. We just have to figure out how to score every time we get a chance."
The Lady Hawks' scoresheet looked like they didn't need much help, if any. The were very few zeros in the hit column throughout the lineup, and there was an overwhelming amount of stolen bases, adding to the fact that Ratledge likes to get the running game going early and often.
Leading the way for the Lady Hawks was sophomore Londyn Backfisch, who went 3-for-3 on the day, with three runs scored, two runs batted in, and totaled five stolen bases. Batting behind Backfisch in the lineup was junior Lana Whitworth, who went 2-for-4, scoring two runs, two runs batted in, a walk, a strikeout, two stolen bases, a single and a triple that was laced into left field.
Also scoring multiple hits were senior Sarah Ruff, 2-for-3 in the game, with two singles, two runs batted in, and freshman Kristen Powell, who was 2-
for-3, with a double, a stolen base, a run batted in, a run scored and a strikeout. Kaitlin Glastetter also had two stolen bases and two runs in the game.
The winning pitcher was junior Jessica Riley, who threw three innings, giving up two hits, one walk, and had two strikeouts. Also seeing time in the pitcher's circle was junior Heather Beggs, who threw two innings, allowing one hit, on two walks, and also recorded two strikeouts.
The Lady Hawks host the Chaffee Lady Red Devils at 4 p.m. Tuesday.