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Monday, Dec. 22, 2014

Brucker's no-hitter leads Lady Hawks past Delta

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

(Photo)
Kelly runner Samantha Ratledge beats out an errant throw to first base as Delta second baseman Megan Perry covers the bag Tuesday at Kelly High School. Brent Shipman, Staff
BENTON -- When sophomore pitcher Kristy Brucker opened the game by striking out the side against Delta on Tuesday, the Kelly Lady Hawks had to know they were in for a good day.

What wasn't as quickly apparent, however, was that Brucker would wind up throwing a no hitter as the Lady Hawks rolled to a 10-0 win over the Lady Bobcats in six innings.

"She threw a really, really good game," Kelly head coach Rhonda Ratledge said. "At this time of the year you're looking for those and hoping they continue. She's been working hard, so she's done real well."

Blazing her way through Delta's lineup the first time around, Brucker fanned seven of the first nine batters she faced, included the first four.

She maintained a perfect game through three innings until a dropped pop-fly on the infield gave the Lady Bobcats their first runner.

That runner, Machela VanGennip, advanced to third with two outs, but a ground ball back to Brucker ended the threat and left the shutout intact.

Delta's only other runner came on a one-out walk in the sixth to Jenna Henson before Brucker retired what turned out to be her final two batters on a fly-out to centerfield and a ground out.

"I felt really confident out there today," said Brucker, who struck out nine on the game. Adding about her no-hitter, "I try not to think about anything during the game. I just try and take it pitch by pitch."

Kelly and Delta were locked in a scoreless contest until the Lady Hawks got things going in the bottom of the third. Taking advantage of a leadoff single from Samantha Ratledge, Kelly went on a five-run rally that included RBI hits from Morgan LeDure and Jade Rampley.

Samantha Ratledge once again reached and scored in the fourth before another four Kelly runs in the fifth made it 9-0 and left the Lady Hawks just one run shy of a mercy rule win.

Though Kelly wasn't able to end the game in the fifth, despite having the winning run on second with one out, they were able to pick up where they left off in the sixth.

Leading off the frame with a blooper to centerfield, LeDure went on to steal second before advancing to third on a ground out.

A bunt back to the pitcher looked to have stalled LeDure temporarily at third, but after checking on the runner, an errant throw to first allowed LeDure to spring home to seal the game.

"That was a good first home game," Rhonda Ratledge said. "We have three games under our belt now, but it's going to get a lot tougher from here. Thursday we'll have Scott City and Sikeston in the Notre Dame tournament and that will be some pressure right there."

Leading Kelly's nine-hit effort, LeDure went 3 for 4 with two runs scored and a run batted in. Samantha Ratledge was 2 for 4 and scored a pair of runs while Stephanie Worth provided the team with its only extra-base hit, a double in the fifth.

"The girls put it in play," Rhonda Ratledge said. "Stephanie (Worth) had a good, deep one. We're real pleased with our lineup. The girls our producing."

With the win Kelly now stands at 3-0 to start the season while the Lady Bobcats fall to 1-2. Rhonda Ratledge said she likes what's she's seen out of her team so far as their offense continues to pound out the hits.

One big advantage she sees this year over last year's team is the addition of freshman pitcher Alexis Dock to take some pressure of Brucker and give the team co-aces.

"Last year poor Kristy, she was all by herself as a freshman," Rhonda Ratledge said. "She handled that pressure really well. Now hopefully she doesn't feel so much pressure and to be able to share the mound, that has to relieve a little pressure."

Delta 000 000 0 - 0

Kelly 005 131 x - 10

WP -- Kristy Brucker. LP -- Cierra Coomer. Multiple hitters: (K) Samantha Ratledge 2-4, Morgan LeDure 3-4. 2B -- (K) Stephanie Worth.


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