LHS softball posts big win over Ava

LDR photo/Alex Boyer
Pictured above are members of the LHS softball team meeting at the pitchers mound before the inning starts. The ‘Jackets defeated the Ava Bears on Tuesday, 14-4 in six innings.

By: 
ALEX BOYER ALEX@LEBANONDAILYRECORD.COM

A leadoff single by junior Leslee Weddle sparked a big Lebanon sixth inning as the Lebanon softball team run-ruled Ava in six innings at Boswell Park

Lebanon had to use the old park after a flooding issue occurred at the new stadium located on the high school campus.

After the ‘Jackets struggled in the top half of the inning, Weddle ripped a ball into the outfield for a leadoff single that led to a nine-run rally. Lebanon sent 11 batters to the plate in the frame and turned a slim 5-4 lead into a 14-4 blowout.

Lebanon got a run in the bottom of the first but gave up a two-out bases-loaded walk in the top of the third to the Bears to tie things up at 1-1. The game remained 1-1 as Lebanon pitcher Kaylee Keen struck out the next batter she faced.

The ‘Jackets would respond quickly as senior Avery Hlavacek led the bottom of the third off with a leadoff single and then proceeded to steal second base. Right fielder Emily Morque drove Hlavacek in with a double that rolled all the way to the outfield fence to take a 2-1 lead.

LHS continued to hit the ball well after a double from Weddle in the bottom of the fourth inning, Jessica Baker delivered a RBI to extend the ‘Jackets’ lead, 3-1.

In the bottom of the fifth, senior Cally Blattel launched a ball over the scoreboard in left field for a two-run home run to give LHS a 5-1 lead.

“The last two games, Cally has just been phenomenal at the plate,” Lebanon head coach Stanley Crum said. “I think she has two home runs, three doubles, and a triple.

“She is on fire right now, and I hope she can stay that way.”

Lebanon struggled in the top half of the sixth, giving up a run on a wild pitch followed by a double from one of the Bears’ hitters to cut the Lebanon lead, 5-4. Keen, who went the distance in the game, was able to keep her composure on the mound and retire the next Ava hitter to escape the jam.

“She (Keen) really showed a lot of intestinal fortitude there in that inning when she got to two outs with the bases loaded,” Crum said. “That was the toughest stretch of the ballgame for her, but when it counted, she made a good pitch to get us out of the inning.

After Ava’s rally in the sixth inning, Lebanon’s first eight batters reached base in the bottom half of the inning, including the bottom of the order for the ‘Jackets who did damage to the Ava starting pitcher. Weddle, the No. 7 batter, led off the inning with a single and Nicole Truitt reached on an error by the Bears’ third baseman to help get things going.

Baker delivered with a RBI single that was followed up by back-to-back doubles by Hlavacek and Morque to extend the ‘Jackets lead to 9-4. After a Blattel walk, Lebanon senior and Evangel softball commit Kailyn Hazlewood delivered with a RBI single and would score off a Keen double, making the score 11-4.

After another pair of LHS runs, Nicole Truitt hit a soft ground ball to the third baseman, but a poor throw led to Weddle coming around second to score to end the game.

“I can’t be happier with what I am getting from the bottom of the order right now,” Crum said. “That is the difference in our lineup right now.”

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The Lebanon Daily Record

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