Paced by Chelsea Marriott’s muscle, Hickory High hammered 4 home runs Saturday afternoon en route to a 19-1 rout of Sharon.
At Wengler, Marriott mauled 2- and 3-run round-trippers to right-center and straightaway center field, respectively. Her Lady Hornets’ teammates Hannah Gallagher and Morgan McBride mustered 3-run bombs, also.
Hickory had 18 hits during the abbreviated, 5-inning affair, while winning pitcher Megan Chess checked Sharon on 1 run in 4 frames.
The Lady Hornets held a 2-1 lead after the 2nd stanza, but erupted for a half-dozen runs in the 4th frame and 9 more in the 5th.
“They’ve actually come out very strong this year,” Hickory Head Coach Tanya McClafferty said in praise of her Lady Hornets’ hitting. “The past couple years they’ve been excellent, excellent hitters; they just weren’t sure of themselves. This year we’re just trying to work on confidence. Confidence is the key offensively.
“This year ... in this area we have such a fluctuation of pitchers,” McClafferty mused. “We have some with some speed, then we drop down a little bit, and it’s tough for the girls to adjust.
“We went south about three weeks ago and saw two good teams (Gaffney, S.C. and Waxsaw, N.C.) that had pitchers that threw very hard,” McClafferty continued. “We wound up ready to rock ’n roll, but it’s hard to adjust. But once we got goin’ into this season, we’ll try to keep it rollin.’”
Marriott mustered 4 hits including a double for Hickory (2-1 region, 3-1 overall), as did Maddie Collier, Sabrina Black and McBride, while Gallagher garnered 2, as did Alyssa Kostka. Mikhaila Layshock lent a double and scored 3 runs, as did Leslie Gargano, while Gallagher and Collier each tallied twice.
For Sharon (1-2, 1-5), Kristina Jacoway turned in a 3-for3 plate performance that included a run-scoring, double to right-center in the 1st frame. Mallory Torr and Danielle Steiner stroked safeties for Lady Tigers’ taskmaster Chad McComb, also.
Southpaw Chess fanned 4 and walked 2, while Black retired Sharon on only 4 pitches in a scoreless inning of relief.
“Megan just started pitching again, about four weeks ago,” McClafferty related. “She’s back in her groove, she’s throwing strong, hitting her spots, throwing good pitches. She settled in after the first (inning) and didn’t stop after that.”
Regarding th rugged winter weather, followed by the rainy spring, McClafferty said, “Thank God, we’re finally gettin’ on dirt.” — By Ed Farrell, Herald assistant sports editor.
ä Wilmington 14, Kennedy Catholic 0 (5 inn.) — At Hermitage, Kayleigh Shenker fired a complete-game 1-hitter with 6 strikeouts and 2 walks in leading 2nd-year Coach Tom Reed’s Lady Hounds (5-0) past KC.
Shenker helped her cause at the plate with a bases-loaded triple and a single. Also, Courtney Cohen doubled, singled and drove in 3 runs, Cassidy Marett ripped a pair of singles and Chelsea Rogel doubled.
Emilee Taylor went the distance for the Lady Golden Eagles. She struck out 3 batters, walked 2 and gave up 9 hits.
Amanda Natale had the lone hit for KC, a single in the 1st inning.
ä Reynolds 6, Sharon 2 — At Johnny Pepe Field, the visiting Raiders erupted for a game-deciding 4-run 6th stanza for Coach Bob Foust in the Region 2-AA affair.
To start the 6th Jacob Reimold, Jake Mahlon and Collin Yake yanked consecutive singles off Tigers’ twirler Dan Vanderslice — the latter producing the go-ahead run. Following Trey Vigus’ sacrifice bunt, on Dan Vanderslice’s 1st pitch lefthanded-hitting Brandon Blair lined a 2-run single down the right-field line. Jake Leipheimer lent another run-scoring single for insurance.
The game was scoreless through 3 innings. The Raiders (3-1, region, 4-2 overall) took 1-run leads in the 4th and 5th before the Tigers (1-2, 2-3) twice tied it.
Sharon squared the slate at 1 in the 4th on Joey Rahn’s sac fly. But Adam Ballish’s 2-out single and subsequent steal set up Leipheimer’s liner to right-center as Reynolds rallied for a 2-1 lead.
Sharon, on the short end entering the home 5th, knotted the count in spite of base-running gaffe. Nick McClimans muscled a lead-off double to left, but was picked off by Reynolds pitcher Nick Fuchs.
But Jon Williams singled through the 5-hole, stole 2nd, continued to 3rd on an errant throw by backstop Yake, then scored on Fuchs’ wild pitch enabling the Tigers to tie it at 2.
A pair of right-handers, both Fuchs and Vanderslice went the distance. Fuchs retired 7 of the last 8 hitters he faced. He walked McClimans with 1 out in the 7th, but silenced Sharon’s last hopes.
TRACK & FIELD
Harbor Creek Invitational
The Sharon High squads competed at the Harbor Creek Invite on Saturday. No team scores were reported.
Carnell Hawkins took 1st place in the 100-meter dash (11.2) while the girls 1600 relay team of Leona Bell, Zhanea Davis, Jessica Talbert-Kirsch and Xsila Powell set a meet record of 4:13.79 (old mark 4:18.05).
Also for the Sharon boys, the 400 relay team (Curtis Seay, Tim Thompson, Trenton Mosley and Hawkins) placed 3rd in 46.66, Scott Greenawalt took 5th in the 3200 (11:29.72) and Thompson was 5th in both the 200 (24.1) and 400 (52.5).
For the girls, the 400 relay team of Bell, Talbert-Kirsch, Davis and Ra’kiya Rice) was 3rd in 52.14, Powell was 3rd in the 400 (1:01.74), Rice was 4th in the 200 (27.65), the 3200 relay team placed 4th in 10:49.20 (Powell, Davis, Tiaja Thompson and Talbert-Kirsch), Bell finished 5th in the 200 (27.97) and Talbert-Kirsch was 7th in the 800 (2:30.40).
West Middlesex girls finished 5th overall on Friday and the boys were 8th at the Union Scottie Invitational.
Wilmington won the girls team title with 158 points, followed by Mohawk (105), Shenango (77), New Castle (67) and WM (58).
Sarah Lucich placed 1st in the javelin (111-7) and Kristen White won the 1600 in 5:36.2. White was 2nd in the 800 (2:33.6) while Chloe Tyillian placed 3rd in the mile (5:45.7) and Lucich took 3rd in the discus (88-7). Sophia Kachulis earned a pair of 4th-place finishes in the 800 (2:38.8) and 1600 (5:46.1).
Fifth-place finishes went to the 1600 relay team of Mia Perilli, Alyson Pierce, Jordan Pape and White in 4:29.4, the 3200 relay team (10:46.7) of Tyillian, Kachulis, Madison Weimer and Anna Zrile and Pierce in the 100 (13.7) and 400 (1:04.9). Pierce also placed 6th in the 200-meter dash (28.9).
New Castle (137) captured the boys team title, followed by Wilmington (116), Mohawk (81), Moniteau (48) and Laurel (46). WM was 8th with 24 points.
Isaac Williams placed 3rd in the 1600 (4:48.6) and Eric Lucich was 3rd in the pole vault (11-6).
Fifth-place WM finishes were Williams in the 800 (2:09.2), Tanner Powell in the 110 hurdles (17.5) and the 400 (47.1) and 1600 (3:46.7) relay teams. The foursome in the 400 was Powell, Todd Fabian, Chandler Tyillian and Lucich) and the 1600 squad was Doug Brennan, Williams, Brett Kirk and Powell.
Sixth-place finishes were registered by the 3200 relay team (10:36.3) of David Johnson, John Devlin, Payton Pierce and Levi Canon), Johnson in the 3200-meter run (11:00.1), Luke Hemminger in the 110 hurdles (17.7) and Powell in the 300 hurdles (46.6).