By RYAN HERMAN
DENVER –– With sole possession of first on the line against an undefeated team, Lincoln Charter wasn’t fazed.
Emily Kenley went 3-for-3 with three doubles and five RBIs, Josie Weber and Lindsay Hoyt added a two-run home run each and Weber and Kenley combined to hold previously unbeaten Bessemer City to three hits Friday as the Eagles mercy-ruled the Yellow Jackets in six innings, 10-0.
“Our girls came out fired up (and) ready to play,” Lincoln Charter coach Taylor Putnam said.
That Lincoln Charter did.
The Eagles (5-2, 3-0 Southern Piedmont 1A) scored five runs on five hits in a first inning highlighted by Kenley’s first of two two-run doubles, and was followed by a towering two-run homer from Weber and they never looked back.
They didn’t have to, with the way Weber worked in the pitching circle, followed by Kenley.
Weber gave up three hits and struck out nine in four scoreless innings, and Kenley came on to strike out the side in the fifth. Kenley added two more strikeouts in the sixth, and caught the hardest-hit ball of the day on a liner headed straight for her head in a game filled with several SportsCenter-worthy plays made by the Lincoln Charter defense.
“Pitching did well,” Putnam said. “Josie Weber’s had a good start to the season. She’s very good, confident out there (and) looking like a senior. Emily’s coming around. She’s had a rough start (to the season), for her, but she’s got it in her and I’m just waiting for it to come out, and the last couple innings it started to come out and I’m very proud of both of them.”
Lily Pressley went 2-for-3 with a walk and scored three runs, Hoyt went 3-for-3 with a double, a sacrifice, scored three runs, and ended the game with a two-run home run in the bottom of the sixth.
Kayla Helms had a hit and scored a run and Morgan McGee, whose diving catch in right for the game’s first out was a prelude to what was to come, doubled in the first and scored a run. Angela Hoyt went 2-for-2 with a double.
The Eagles, who handed the Yellow Jackets (5-1, 3-1) their first loss of the season, won their fourth straight after starting the season 1-2. They have also outscored their last two opponents 27-0.
After a season-opening 5-0 win at 4A Lake Norman, Lincoln Charter dropped back-to-back games to McDowell and nationally-ranked Alexander Central, also a 4A school, and also a game Putnam expected to win.
She expects the Eagles to win every time they step on the diamond, and even in rolling defeats like Friday’s she still sees room for improvement.
“We’ve had a little rough start to our season, but I think they’re starting to play like their potential. We’ve still got a ways to go, but, it’s not the end, yet,” she said.
“As far as one through seven innings, (this game is) probably the best we’ve seen, consistently. They can still do more, but we’ll take it in stride.”