BELL BUCKLE — After giving up two runs in the first inning, the Cascade Lady Champions battled back and then some in the third inning as they scored nine runs on five hits to take an 11-3 lead, …
BELL BUCKLE — After giving up two runs in the first inning, the Cascade Lady Champions battled back and then some in the third inning as they scored nine runs on five hits to take an 11-3 lead, which turned into an eventual 14-6 victory in their District 7-AA opener against the Grundy County Lady ‘Jackets.
“The big thing is that it was a district game, so it’s a big win,” Lady Champions head coach Willie Carter said.
“We’re young and we have a lot of improving to do because we have another district game at the end of the week, with a couple games in between.”
The Lady Champions (2-1, 1-0) got their first hit of the night in the second inning with a leadoff double from starting pitcher Brianna Horn, and she later gave Cascade their first run of the night when she stole third and advanced home on a Lady ‘Jackets (0-2, 0-1) wild pitch soon after.
Claire Perry plated Caitlin Fannin on a ground out in the next at-bat to tie the game at 2-2.
Grundy County answered back with one run behind a pair of singles and a stolen base to regain the lead in the top of the third before Cascade’s bats got hot.
The game was tied back up at 3-3 in the bottom of the third without the Lady Champions needing a hit as two batters walked, one was hit-by-pitch, and one reached on an error to open the half inning.
That sequence was followed by consecutive two-RBI singles and a two-run homer from Hannah Vandiver to give the Lady Champions a 9-3 lead, and Kyndal Bolden extended their lead two at-bats later with a two-RBI single of her own.
“My girls have a tough time adjusting to different styles of pitching, but they figured it out at the plate in that inning to take a big lead,” Carter said.
The Lady ‘Jackets cut their deficit to 11-4 with a solo homer in the next half inning, but Cascade added three more in the top of the fifth with a single and a pair of triples to take a 14-4 lead heading into what would be the final half inning due to an eight run after five innings mercy rule agreed upon by the coaches before the game.
While Grundy County was able to plate two runs in the bottom of the fifth, Horn struck out three batters, including the final batter to close out the game with the win.
She pitched all five innings and ended with 11 strikeouts, nine hits, and three walks.
“The first couple of innings she was struggling because it was a tight strike zone, but once she settled in she got tough. It’s hard to hit her when she’s got her zone down,” Carter said.
The Lady Champions won’t have much time to rest as they will be back on their home diamond on Tuesday night against Franklin County.
Grundy 201 12 — 6 9 2
Cascade 029 3x — 14 9 2
Cascade: Caitlin Fannin 1-for-1, Brianna Horn 2-for-3, Hannah Vandiver 2-for-3, Ella Thompson 1-for-2, Christina Bilbro 1-for-2, Alivia Fannin 1-for-3, Kyndal Bolden 1-for-4.
WP: Brianna Horn.
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