CRESTVIEW — Not that it needed any, but the Niceville High School softball team got plenty of help from Crestview on Friday.
The Bulldogs committed seven errors and misplayed several other balls into hits as the Eagles rolled to a 15-0 District 2-6A win. The game was called after five innings on the mercy rule.
Niceville (16-1, 8-0) jumped to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Audrey Diekman singled to left, took second on a Kristin Bufkin wild pitch and scored on a single by Kayla Davis.
The run was all Niceville pitcher Christina Rameriz would need as she threw a two-hit shutout.
The Eagles put the game out of reach with a six-run second inning in which they got six hits and the Bulldogs committed four errors.
Niceville added four more runs on five hits in the third inning, three runs on two hits and two errors in the fourth and a run on a hit and error in the fifth.
"I think in a district game it is key to get out to a good start," Eagle coach Danny Hensley said. "We got off to a good start on them and got them back on their heels a little bit.
"It was beneficial for us to come out and score some early and settle in. It makes the swings a lot easier when you are seven or eight ahead from the get go."
Diekman led the Eagle attack with four hits and four runs scored. Davis added three hits and scored twice. And Jaci Hodkins had two hits and two runs scored.
Crestview coach Kathy Combest was tougher in the critique of her defense.
"Our pitchers did a good job," she said of Kristen Bufkin and Taylor Rolison. We had 13 errors and that's all I can say about that.
When I think you should catch it and you don't it's an error. They got three hits that, were what I call hits. But we had running errors and catcher errors too."
Bufkin and Kayla Kelch had the Bulldog hits. Gabby Thomas, who drew a first-inning walk, was the only other Crestview player to reach base as the Bulldogs fell to 12-7 on the season and 1-7 in district play.
Randy Dickson is the Crestview News Bulletin’s sports editor. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, tweet him @BigRandle, or call 682-6524