By Bryan Davis
Mamie Allen and Hunter Coleman had put in a solid four innings as pitcher and catcher, respectively, for the Oak Hill Academy Diamond Raiders (9-8; 0-3) on Tuesday afternoon.
Due up back-to-back in the bottom of the fourth, they knew two runs would end the game, and both batters reached base to set up the final two scores in a 12-0 victory over the Diamond Patriots of Heritage Academy.
The Lady Raiders were coming off of a hard 4-2 loss at Manchester on Monday, which saw a 2-0 seventh inning lead slip away.
â€śIt was a good day, after a tough conference loss yesterday,â€ť said Oak Hill head coach Marion Bratton. â€śIt kind of let the wind out of our sails a little bit. We were hoping to get back in the hunt, and we still can get back in the hunt, but the cards have got to fall just right. Weâ€™ve definitely got some pressure on us, and weâ€™ve definitely got to play our best ball from here on out.â€ť
They needed a boost on Tuesday, and they got it on the mound, in the field and especially at the plate.
Allen started the game on the mound, and despite the first two batters reaching in the first, she recorded the next three outs with no damage.
That was more than can be said for Heritage, as Oak Hill came to bat in the bottom of the first.
Magen Ellis got things started with a hit right up the middle. After she stole second, Anna Lummus walked.
Tori Ellis followed with a base on balls of her own, loading the bases with nobody out.
Paige Dawkins came to the plate, and she ripped a three-run double into the right field gap, putting Oak Hill on top 3-0.
The Lady Patriots would escape with no further damage, but they could not get anything going at the plate.
Allen devastated them in the second, getting a ground out and striking out the other two.
The bottom of the second brought more action from the offense for Oak Hill.
The bottom of the order came up in the form of Anne Stevens, who walked to start the inning.
Magen Ellis followed with her second hit in as many innings.
Anna Lummus grounded the next pitch to second, which scored one run to make it 4-0.
Tori Ellis, who walked and scored in the first, belted a two-run single to the gap to make it 6-0.
Dawkins followed with a fielderâ€™s choice, but Mary Helon Hays, who had drawn a walk in the first, slapped a double to the outfield to put runners at second and third.
This set up a two-run single by Abby Falkner to make it 8-0.
Heritage managed to stop the bleeding, but not before Oak Hill extended its gap.
Allen walked two, with one out in the third, but it came to nothing, as she got a pop to first and a bunt to third for the last outs of the frame.
In the bottom of the third, Oak Hill got a leadoff walk from Stevens again. Once again, it was followed by a solid hit to left by Magen Ellis.
Lummus hit the ball the other way on the infield, scoring Stevens to make it 9-0. Already with two hits, Tori Ellis did not record a third, but she did just as good, getting another runner in from third to make it 10-0. That was the last of the scoring in the third for Oak Hill.
Now it was a matter of avoiding the mercy rule for the Lady Patriots. Two more runs would end it in the bottom of the fourth if they did not score in the top half.
Allen kept them at bay, however, setting Heritage down in order in the fourth.
In the bottom of the inning, Allen and her catcher Coleman had reached and been replaced by Meg McBrayer and Lauren Hitt.
Stevens came to the plate and slapped a single to left to score McBrayer for run number 11.
The final run was just a few feet down the third base line, and Lummus made contact, sending the ball to second, as the final run crossed the plate to end the game.
Oak Hill will play at Winston Academy next Tuesday at 5 p.m.