The Lady Vikings’ bats were as warm as the weather Saturday afternoon as they steamrolled through the West Carter Lady Comets, 10-1, in the first round of the Region tournament.
They did not hesitate to get a jump on their opponent. They scored five runs on four hits in the bottom of the first inning.
“Anytime you start the regional tournament with five in the first inning, you are off to a great start. That start gives you some cushion. You feel really good about everything. Your pitching usually gets better, your defense gets better, and when you score runs hitting, you feel better. It’s just easier to play,” said Coach Larry Slone.
Haven Ford sparked the fire by drawing a walk as leadoff then stealing second and third. She scored the first run when Emily Hammonds ground out to shortstop, Ragan Adkins.
Macy Jones stepped up to bat as the Lady Vikings’ three hole. She hit a triple and advanced home on error by second baseman, Becca Nolen.
Jones had a stellar performance in Saturday afternoon’s game. She was three-for-four at the plate hitting a pair of triples all while holding the Lady Comets to four hits and one run from the circle.
“I think when you come out on a team first inning it knocks them down a bit. Then when I am in the circle, I know I have my offense to back me up. I am able to relax a little bit and focus on my pitching,” said Jones.
Lexi Morris followed up Jones’ triple with another with triple and scored on a passed ball. Emily Hacker, Bailey Trent and Erin Wilburn strung together singles for two more runs before the end of the inning.
Jones’ second triple was part of a three-run fourth inning. The Lady Vikings strung together another five hits starting with a single by Ford.
“I was seeing the ball really well today and I was able to get my barrel to it. Outside pitching, I went with it,” said Jones.
Elaina Ward drove in Ford with a line drive to centerfield for an RBI double. Ward was then in place to score when Jones tripled. Ward was three-for-four at the plate with a double and a pair of singles.
The Lady Vikings scored runs in the third, fourth and sixth innings. Haley Middleton scored in the third inning when Trent singled on a hard ground ball to center field and Morris scored in the sixth when Ward singled on a line drive to left field. The Lady Vikings ended the night with 10 runs on 13 hits.
“I am pleased with all of them. It was a team effort. Everyone contributed to putting the ball in play today,” said Slone.
Karianna Back scored the only run for the Lady Comets in the fourth inning. She doubled on a fly ball to centerfield to start the inning and was drove in by Kallie Burchett’s fly ball single to right left field.
The Lady Vikings advanced to the semifinals of the Regional tournament Monday night against Ashland.