Hit me if you can

Hen­der­son's no-hit­ter, 14 K's pro­pels Eastide 8-0 over Al­covy

The Covington News - - Sports - By Josh Briggs

It might have been se­nior night Thurs­day at Al­covy, but it was an East­side ju­nior that stole the show.

Amanda Hen­der­son con­tin­ued her dom­i­nat­ing sea­son as she struck out 14 out of 15 bat­ters en route to a no-hit, 80 victory in five in­nings over Al­covy.

“Once again, she (Hen­der­son) did a great job for us,” East­side coach Heather Wood said. “She put us in a po­si­tion to win and I’m just proud of her per­for­mance to­day.”

Hen­der­son set the tone from the beginning as she struck out the side in the first in­ning. Aside from a walk in the fourth in­ning, Hen­der­son was per­fect.

“You have to take your hat off to Amanda Hen­der­son,” Al­covy coach Casey Bates said. “She went out there and made it look easy.

“I told the girls be­fore the game that we had to lay off the rise ball and she kept throw­ing it, throw­ing it, throw­ing it and we kept swing at it, swing

at it, swing­ing at it and we just couldn’t make con­tact with it,” Bates added. “She’s the best pitcher we’ve seen by far and I think she’s the best pitcher we’ll see un­til we get to the state tour­na­ment.”

East­side took an early 1-0 lead in the sec­ond in­ning on an RBI sin­gle by Jqurya Blue. Sum­mer Kusch started on the mound for the Lady Tigers who were without their ace Dal­las Hardin who took a ball off the thumb in prac­tice Wed­nes­day. Kusch pitched well un­til the fourth in­ning when East­side scored five runs, four of them with two outs.

Erica Cronic led off the in­ning with a sin­gle but Kusch re­sponded with two ground balls for outs. Bri Cham­bers reached on a bunt sin­gle to score a run and Kayla Jones, Hen­der­son, Sierra Pe­tree, Amanda Hawkins and Blue strung to­gether con­sec­tu­tive hits to plate four runs.

“Of­fen­sively we’ve been do­ing a much bet­ter job,” Wood said. “They’re mak­ing the right ad­just­ments at the plate. They usu­ally give it one time through (the or­der) and they were talk­ing to each other to­day and they were a lot more dis­ci­plined at the plate.”

Up 6-0 head­ing into the fifth in­ning, East­side tacked on two more runs to ex­tend its lead. Again it was the top of the or­der that did the dam­age. Af­ter Kenya Shak­our tripled to start the in­ning, Cham­bers drove her home with a sin­gle. Hen­der­son drove in the next run with her sec­ond hit of the game and East­side took an 8-0 lead into the bot­tom of the fifth.

Hen­der­son slammed the door, strik­ing out the side for the fourth time in the game to seal the no-hit­ter un­der the run rule.

East­side picked up three triples and 11 hits over­all. Cham­bers, Jones and Hen­der­son each had two hits and drove in two runs apiece to lead the Lady Ea­gles.

Head­ing into next week’s re­gion tour­na­ment, Wood is pleased with the progress her team has made the past cou­ple of weeks and feels con­fi­dent they will be ready as they face Franklin County Tues­day at 5 p.m. at Hart County.

“We try to al­ways keep our in­ten­sity up even if we are up,” Wood said. “I’ve been very pleased with our hit­ting. We’ve been work­ing on it a lot in prac­tice be­cause that is one of our weak­nesses. Even if we don’t face a dom­i­nant pitcher, we still need the way we are ca­pa­ble of.”

As for Al­covy, Bates said the Re­gion 4-AAAA reg­u­lar sea­son champs can learn from fac­ing a pitcher like Hen­der­son and will be ready to go when they take on the win­ner of the Dutch­town/Grif­fin game 6:30 p.m. Tues­day at Love­joy Com­plex.

“It told them you can’t let it get you down,” Bates said. “That shows you can be beat by a pitcher. You can’t have a pitcher dom­i­nate you. You can’t let that hap­pen. You have to find a way to get on base. We have to be ready to go.”

Mandi Singer/The Cov­ing­ton News

Mandi Singer/The Cov­ing­ton News

She's safe: Sierra Pe­tree slides in safe at third base un­der Am­ber Mel­ton's glove dur­ing the fourth in­ning of East­side's 8-0 victory over county ri­val Al­covy Thurs­day. Pe­tree and the Ea­gles will play Franklin County on Tues­day at Hart County in the Re­gion 8- AAA tour­na­ment.

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