Lady Titans Nab First Win Over West Jessamine
After coming off a seven-run loss to Madison Central, the (2-12) Lady Titans softball team found the win they had been looking for, defeating district rival West Jessamine Colts, 9-5, Thursday, April 13.
Mercer started with freshman Ella Davis in the circle. Davis’s second pitch strike was sent on a line right back up the middle to the senior center fielder, Kallise Gammon, for a double. Davis walked the next batter, putting runners on first and second. Mercer’s defense looked crisp early in the game when a ground ball was hit to junior shortstop, Peyton Boyd for a double play, leaving a runner on third base. The top of the first ended on a third strike swinging.
Mercer had great success hitting the ball in the opening innings, scoring seven runs in just two. Mercer’s lead-off hitter, junior Hannah Beasley, was caught looking on strike three. Boyd was sent to base after four straight balls, putting a runner on first. Gammon hit a shot to left-center field, earned a double, and scored Boyd, putting Mercer up 1-0. Junior Ashley Howard continued the hot bat streak with a single of her own, over the head of the West Jessamine shortstop. She scored Gammon from second, giving Mercer a 2-0 lead. The inning ended on a pop-fly to center and a strikeout.
The Lady Titans forced three up-three down in the top of the second, as West hit two ground-outs and Davis struck out one, to retire the side.
The Lady Titans really lit up on the batting side, putting up five runs in the second inning alone. Boyd, Madisynn Griffin and Emily Worthington each had RBIs in the frame. The Lady Titans closed out the second inning, up 7-0.
In the top of the third, West tried to answer back but only had one run. West grounded into Worthington, for an out. West Jessamines, Delaney Dix, knocked one into right field for a double, followed by a single by H. Corman, which scored Dix from second and put points on their board. Davis struck one out, then got a ground ball back to her for an easy throw to first and the third out.
Mercer looked to extend the lead and continued the hot hitting streak in the bottom of the third inning. Sophomore, KJ Sutton came to the plate looking for a hit but was sent to first on four balls. Beasley, looking for her first hit of the game, popped up to the first basemen for the first out. Boyd was sent to first on four balls, moving Sutton to second. A strikeout and ground out left two of Mercer’s runners on. At the end of the fourth, the Titans still led, 7-1.
Once again, Mercer’s Ella Davis retired the side in a three up-three down situation with two ground outs and a pop fly, leaving the game still at 7-1.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, Mercer batted three, and West retired three. Three straight outs from Mercer sent the game to the fifth inning, 7-1.
West was scorching hot in the fifth inning, scoring four runs and closing the gap on Mercer. A base on balls and single put two runners on with one out. West scored their first run off a tag up on a fielder’s choice. With two outs, Mercer couldn’t finish the inning until Davis earned the last out on a strikeout, but the damage had been done with a triple and single scoring three more runs. The top of the fifth ended with West making it a two-point game, 7-5.
Hayley Ransdell made contact but was out at first. KJ Sutton was able to outrun the throw on a grounder to short and Beasley sent her home with a double, 8-5. Boyd was out on a foul tip and though Gammon and Howard both advanced due to balls, they couldn’t score. Griffin ended the inning with a flyout caught by the center fielder.
Worthington and Gammon gave West two quick outs with quick gloves and Boyd scooped up a grounder to connect with Howard at the top of the sixth inning.
Mercer continued to bat well in the sixth opening with singles from Worthington and Jersey McGinnis. After one out, Sutton added another hit, and the bases were loaded. The pitcher walked Boyd and the Titans pushed out their lead 9-5. The inning ended after a pop-up and the Titans worked to hold on to the lead going into the seventh inning.
Mercer had no problem holding onto the lead and sat the batters three in a row.
Davis was credited with the victory. The right-hander went seven innings, allowing five runs on six hits and striking out four.
Mercer tallied 12 hits in the game. Worthington and KJ Sutton each racked up multiple hits for the Titans. Sutton and Worthington all had three hits to lead the team.
It was a big district win for the Lady Titans and the first on their new field. They will be back in action tonight, Thursday, April 20 in Rockcastle against the Lady Rockets starting at 6 p.m.