BAKER — Two games into the 2016 season Baker School’s softball team is off to a fast start.
Three days after opening the season with a 10-0 win over Central; the Gators broke out the big sticks again Thursday in a 17-3 win over Catholic.
Baker got off to a shaky start in the top of the first inning when the Crusaders scored three runs. The Catholic rally was aided by three walks from Gator pitcher Allison Newell.
The rest of the game belonged to the Gators.
“We started off a little shaky in that first inning,” Baker Coach John Carlisle said. “One of the biggest things I was proud of is we gave up three in the top half of the first inning and came back and got three in the bottom half (of the inning).
“I feel very confident about our lineup and the girls we have in there. I thought we would be able to at least get one (run), but to come back and match that and get three, that’s huge.”
Baker tied the game in the bottom of the first inning to tie the game. Shelby Sloan reaches second base on a Crusader error to lead off the inning.
Sloan scored on a single by Emily Stewart. Mykala McCranie followed Stewart with a single. Stewart and McCranie scored on an Ashley Black double.
The Gators took the lead in the second inning when Bethany McCranie led off the inning with an infield single and Sloan hit an inside the park home run.
Whatever hopes Catholic had of getting back in the game were dashed in the third inning as Baker sent 18 batters to the plate and scored 12 runs on just seven hits. Gator batters worked Catholic pitchers for six walks and two Baker batters were hit by pitches.
The big hits of the inning were a two-run single by Jenna Bush and a three-run double by Stewart.
Shelby led the Baker attack with four runs, two hits and drove in three runs. Stewart scored two runs, had two hits and four runs batted in. Jessica Black scored twice and had two hits.
Ashley Black drove in three runs. And Bethany McCranie scored three runs.
Baker’s defense also was impressive turning a pair of double plays. But left fielder Gracie Edge turned in the defensive play of the game when she made a diving catch in foul territory to secure the final out and wrap up the win.
Newell went the distance in the circle for the Gators allowing five hits and striking out one.
“One of the things I tried to remind the girls tonight was, ‘You’ve got to remain humble.’” Carlisle said. “You can’t stay too low or too high because this game will change in a drop of a hat.
“I really like this team. I really like what we’ve got. I just hope we can keep it rolling.”