By Will Nations
Kaitlyn Oswalt is nicknamed K.O. by Heritage Academy Head Coach Gary Harris.
She lived up to her billing as the Lady Patriot was the knockout blow in Heritageâ€™s season opener, striking out 11 and pitching four scoreless innings. Heritage used its hurlerâ€™s outing to sustain its lead despite Oak Hillâ€™s fifth-inning rally for an 8-5 win Monday at Kim Keller Field in West Point.
â€śI thought K.O. does what K.O. does,â€ť Harris said. â€śShe is a great pitcher, and she needs to continue to bear down to become an elite pitcher.â€ť
Oswalt faced 23 Lady Raiders in the pitching circle in her first start of the season, keeping the OHA batters to five hits. Oak Hill head coach Nathan Ellis said Oswalt might be the best pitcher his team will face this season.
â€śItâ€™s tough," Ellis said. "Going from the change in speeds that we saw Friday, we knew we had to have quick hands. She made us work.â€ť
Facing a steep deficit, the Lady Raiders (0-2) pieced together five runs in the bottom of the fifth. A two-RBI single by Anna Katherine Childress, a RBI groundout by Paige Buchanan and a Payton Teffeteller RBI single brought the game within four runs. Teffeteller scored the fifth-run on a wild pitch with two outs to make the score 8-5.
â€śThe main thing to take away from today was we did not give up,â€ť Ellis said. â€śOne thing about this team is that they are going to work hard and battle. I can ask much more from our girls than to compete.â€ť
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