Pink out turns to blowout

Lady Ea­gles roll over Lady Rams

The Covington News - - SPORTS - SHA­KEEM HOL­LOWAY shol­loway@cov­news.com

Other than a stel­lar fifth in­ning that saw New­ton score all five of its runs, East­side — rock­ing the pink unis on Mon­day — owned the game and the ri­valry this sea­son mak­ing them 2-0 to fin­ish the se­ries against its ri­val, as the Lady Ea­gles ran away with a 13-5 vic­tory.

Molly Moon stood strong in the cir­cle for East­side, through the first four in­nings Moon al­lowed just four hits. The Lady Rams had a strong first in­ning de­spite Moon’s prow­ess on the mound.

Ciara Bryan led off with a dou­ble. Then after a hit, Ash­leigh Wil­liams played it smart and faked a throw to first to catch Bryan steal­ing third. The Lady Rams would get one more hit to put a run­ner in scor­ing po­si­tion, but with run­ners at first and sec­ond the East­side de­fense wouldn’t al­low another hit and got out of the in­ning safely.

In the bot­tom of the first, East­side made sound de­ci­sions at the plate and put the ball in play where it couldn’t be caught to take a lead it would never re­lin­quish. After a cou­ple of walks, Wil­liams hit a blooper be­hind sec­ond to score two runs.

The Lady Ea­gles kept pound­ing in the sec­ond in­ning when they scored four runs, in­clud­ing Madi­son Hop­per’s tworun homer that got the en­tire crowd ex­cited as East­side took a 6-0 lead.

Caitlin Ray blasted a two- run homer of her own in the fourth in­ning, which helped pro­pel the Lady Ea­gles to an 11-0 lead. It looked like that would be it for the Lady Rams, but they showed heart and came out shoot­ing in the fifth.

An er­ror and a hit put two on for Net­won’s highly touted star Bryan, and she didn’t dis­ap­point. Bryan knocked one deep and over the fence to put three runs on the board for New­ton. Bryan put on a su­perb per­for­mance against East­side. She went 3-3 with one homerun, and was a sin­gle shy of hit­ting for the cy­cle.

“There’s noth­ing you can say about her, ex­cept she’s 100 per­cent pure ball player,” Lady Rams’ coach Ash­ley Coles said. “She’s 100 per­cent gonna give you her all. She’s gonna hus­tle no mat­ter the sit­u­a­tion. She’s gonna hit no mat­ter the sit­u­a­tion, and she’s gonna do what I say is the right thing nine times out of 10. Is she a hu­man and makes mis­takes? Of course. She does things that I feel like in clutch sit­u­a­tions, you can’t ask for any­thing bet­ter.”

Shortly after Bryan’s homer, the Rams had the bases loaded and East­side head coach called time to talk to Moon and the rest of the team.

“I just told her to stay con­fi­dent,” Wood said. “She’s got good (de­fense) be­hind her. She threw an ex­cel­lent game. I just wanted her to stay up, keep the de­fense be­hind her and keep work­ing as she had been do­ing. Some of ‘em were just lit­tle bloop­ers, where we couldn’t get to ‘em. I think she was still throw­ing well, but it was just in spots where we couldn’t get it. I just told her, ‘Stay con­fi­dent, she’s fine. Let’s go, let’s fo­cus on the bat­ter.’”

Moon did just that. After two more runs scored, Moon and the Lady Ea­gles got out of the in­ning and put the game away with two runs in the bot­tom of the fifth.

“We strug­gled some at the plate through­out the sea­son, so this was def­i­nitely a good game for us to gain mo­men­tum be­cause we do have two re­gion games this week. I thought this was a great way to go into (Tues­day),” Wood said.

When asked about the New­ton’s slug­gish per­for­mance of­fen­sively up un­til the fifth in­ning, Coles said, “I def­i­nite- ly think that all it is, is men­tal. They wanted to go out there and hit. They had the abil­ity the whole game to hit it. They just got fired up and hit it right there. I’m proud that they didn’t lay down with the score be­ing the way it was.”

“I know we have some hot bats in the lineup,” Coles added. “Ob­vi­ously Ciara leads the team, she gets a hit almost ev­ery time. We got some other hot bats, some shots. I just think that has to be done from the get-go and be a con­tin­u­ous thing.”

As for their pitch­ing, Coles was dis­ap­pointed in the ef­fort after a suc­cess­ful week­end.

“I re­ally hold that close to me be­cause I do teach both of them. I felt like they weren’t re­ally putting their all out there,” Coles said. “I do agree that they weren’t hit­ting shots. We had two home runs off us and Madi­son Hop­per hit three shots off us, but I will say if our pitch­ing would have came out on their A-game like we saw this past week­end down in Mor­gan County half of those runs would not have been scored be­cause they wouldn’t have been able to put the bat on the ball.”

Sha­keem Hol­loway/The Cov­ing­ton News

Madi­son Hop­per (No. 24) jogs across home plate with her team­mates cheer­ing for her after blast­ing a tworun homer against New­ton High School.

Sha­keem Hol­loway /The Cov­ing­ton News

The Lady Ea­gles and Lady Rams shake hands after Mon­day’s matchup.

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