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Hooks’ first four batters in Wednesday’s softball game at H.E. Markham Park scored. Liberty-Eylau answered with six runs in the bottom of the first inning on its way to a 15-5 season opening win over the Lady Hornets.
The Lady Leopards also scored six runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to end the game via the 10-run rule.
“Getting behind early is nothing new for us,” said Liberty-Eylau coach Kendra Cullum. “We were in that situation a lot last season. Our girls know how we play, and know how we hit. We know that we can score runs.”
Cullum added that her team must stay consistent, and not be up and down.
“I was really proud of the girls after that first inning,” said Cullum. “No one got down after Hooks got ahead 4-0. It’s always good to have that first game over so you can see what you need to work on.”
It was Emma Farquhar, Sidney Pardue, Abby Russ and Karlee Clark scoring for the Lady Hornets in the first inning.
However, the Leopards were celebrating almost immediately when Savannah Phelps led off the bottom of the first with a long home run over the scoreboard in left field. Two batters later McKenzye Williamson hammered a home run to left, making it a 4-3 score.
L-E’s final three runs of the inning were unearned. The Leopards loaded the bases with two outs when a fly to the outfield was dropped.
L-E featured power, speed in first game
The baserunning of Keeley and Kayla Norris was a factor in the game. Both were participating in the basketball playoffs until Monday night.
“It’s sort of funny, those four basketball girls hit for the very first time Tuesday,” said Cullum. “They’re going to get better for sure. It was awesome to see them succeed in that situation.”
Sophomore Shelby Ryther started in the circle against Hooks. Cullum was pleased with her performance, noting she must help if L-E is to make a deep run in the postseason. Senior Bella Gunderson took over the pitching duties in the fourth, allowing one run the final three frames.
The Leopards will be back in action Thursday in a Longview tournament.