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By David Sharp
Knox County (4-7, 2-3) scored eight first inning runs and powered to a 15-2, five inning win over Westran. Jen Hinkle went 3-3 at the plate with three runs scored and three batted in. Hinkle reached base in all four plate appearances.
The Lady Eagles played one of their better overall games of the season against a solid conference opponent. Westran fell to 8-8 on the season, 2-3 in the Lewis and Clark Conference.
Knox County reached Lady Hornet starter Maddie Harvey for six hits in the bottom of the first inning. Harvey touched Knox County starter Daniela Dooley for a two out first inning single. The Hornet runner was stranded in a scoreless top of the first.
Daniela Dooley singled Jen Hinkle home with the game’s first run. Bryston Miller stroked a two RBI first inning hit. Bailey Bowen singled in a run. Abby Becker drove in a run with a fielder’s choice.
Mallory Brown came in to pitch to Agnes Reel. Brown won the battle for the first out of the first inning. Jen Hinkle drew an RBI walk. Knox County sent 13 batters to the plate during an eight run first inning rally.
Kalynn Moore stroked a one out Westran single in the second inning. Jen Hinkle threw to Brianna Miller at third base, catching the runner stealing for the second out. Daniela Dooley pitched around a walk, holding the Hornets scoreless in their second inning.
Reanna Black reached on an error and scored on Piper Krog’s third inning ground ball back to the circle. Knox County responded with a three run third inning.
Agnes Reel walked leading off the KCHS third inning. Jen Hinkle delivered an RBI double. Hinkle stole third base and scored on Taylor Walker’s RBI double. Brianna Miller doubled and scored a third inning run.
Knox County held an 11-1 lead after three full innings. Daniela Dooley pitched three innings with four strikeouts and one walk on two hits. One earned run was charged to the KC starter.
Agnes Reel pitched the final two innings for Knox County. Reel struck out two with one walk on one hit. One earned run was charged to Reel.
A pitch hit Aliya Navarro leading off the Westran fifth inning. Navarro scored the second Hornet run on an error. Bailey Bowen singled leading off the KC fifth inning. Bowen moved up on wild pitches.
Agnes Reel drew a one out walk. Jen Hinkle plated both runners with a two RBI double. Daniela Dooley walked. Westran brought Maddy Burton in to pitch. Brianna Miller lofted a sacrifice fly to right field for an RBI.
The game ended by the ten run rule after five innings. Knox County scored 15 runs on 13 hits and two errors. Daniela Dooley had a hit and two RBI’s. Brianna Miller, Taylor Walker and Bryston Miller had two hits each. Bailey Bowen was 2-3 with two runs scored and another batted in.
“They did a good job,” Westran coach Mark Harvey said of the Lady Eagles. “You can’t spot somebody eight runs in the first inning. It’s hard to come back from that. I didn’t think we were very aggressive at the plate today like we normally are.”
“We have played a lot of tough games. I think it finally caught up with us,” Mark Harvey said. “The kids played hard. We don’t fault their effort. Knox County did a better job than we did.”
Westran scored two runs on three hits. Kalynn Moore went 2-2 at the plate for Westran. Mallory Brown pitched three and a third inning with four strikeouts, four walks on six hits. Brown was charged with seven earned runs.
“We have had trouble putting offense and defense together in one game,” Jennifer Hinkle said. “We showed what we could do on both sides. That’s really good for us. We needed that push to continue in our season”
“That was a conference game. That was a really good team. Our attitude and expectations is where it all starts,” Jen Hinkle said.
“I think that the girls are starting to see the progress that can be made,” Knox County coach Lauren Dale said. “We have to continue to grow going forward. We can win games and we can lose games, but we can still find successes.”
“That’s what Tuesday night did for us. We had so much confidence coming out of Tuesday night.” Knox County hung with fifth ranked in Class 2 Fayette, losing a 10-4 decision.
The Falcons are currently 18-1 on the season. Fayette topped Westran by a 9-1 final on September 16 at Fayette. The Falcon’s only loss is to Class 5 Columbia Battle (14-7).
“The girls should go into this weekend with confidence and energy,” Lauren Dale said of the Louisiana softball tournament. “We might have gotten the eighth seed, but there is nobody out there that I feel we can’t play with if we continue to play like we are now.”