(Photo by Josh Mills, Staff)
BENTON -- The Kelly Lady Hawks softball team and district titles go hand-in-hand.
The Lady Hawks hoisted their 24th district championship trophy on Saturday by defeating the Crystal City Lady Hornets 10-1.
This also improves an already impressive streak that Kelly has built within those years. For 22 out of 23 seasons, the Lady Hawks have been able to call themselves district champions.
Danielle Dock, who has been their big time pitcher all season, continued to dominate on the mound just as she did in her previous game last Friday against the Scott City Lady Rams when she pitched a no-hitter to advance the Lady Hawks into the Class 2, District 2 championship game.
Just as successful pitchers are, Dock was grateful for the defense that plays behind her and said she is always confident that they will make the plays for her.
"My defense was amazing today (Saturday)," Dock said. "They were good yesterday (Friday) too. They backed me up 100 percent. It makes me more calm on the mound and it's relaxing to know that if they're going to hit it, the defense behind me is going to be able to pick me up and get the outs."
Dock pitched all seven innings allowing one earned run on three hits and three walks. She also struck out eight batters.
Offensively, the Lady Hawks were potent as well.
They combined for 11 hits with 8-of-9 batters having at least one hit. They jumped out to a six run lead after the first inning which has been their gameplan from the beginning.
"That was pretty much our gameplan," Kelly head coach Rhonda Ratledge said. "We wanted to come out in the first inning and try to get on top of Crystal City and try to rattle the pitcher a little bit because if you can get them rattled within that first inning or two, it kind of helps. I wasn't expecting the six runs and batting all through the lineup but, I'll take it."
Katee Moore went 2-for-3 at the plate and both hits were almost identical.
"Katee (Moore) was very excited about batting against Crystal City's pitcher," Ratledge said. "The pitcher was throwing mostly outside pitches and that's Katee's favorite pitch to take to right field. And that's where she put it both times."
Moore had two triples that went to the almost exact same spot each time. She scored two runs in the game as well.
Dock and Londyn Backfisch also had two hits. Backfisch connected for two singles while Dock had two singles and two RBIs. Casey Kern, Brittany Brantley and Jessica Riley each had one hit and two RBIs to add to the pile while Heather Beggs added one hit and one RBI.
Kelly (20-4) will now be playing in the sectional round against the Twin Rivers Lady Royals (15-6) which will be held at Kelly High School on Wednesday. The time of the game has not yet been announced.