By Rob Williams
For the Monroe Journal
HAMILTON – “Finally,” Hamilton coach Bryan Loague said. “We have been preaching to these girls all season to take a different approach at the plate - to be more aggressive. The lesson finally kicked in tonight.”
The Lady Lions pounded out 18 hits as they downed the IAHS Lady Indians 17-2 in four innings Monday night.
Senior pitcher Addie Thompson struck out the first three Indians she faced in the top of the first to set the stage for the Lady Lions.
The new aggressive approach at the plate showed up in the Lady Lions’ first at bat. With one out, Icie Cockerham slammed an infield single off the IAHS pitcher. Hallie Dobbs ripped a double to right and Lacey Holley drove two runs home with a triple.
Taylor Brock kept the streak going with an RBI single, and Kaley Loague reached on an error. Camryn Savage followed with an RBI single. Thompson helped her own cause with a triple in her second plate appearance of the inning to put Hamilton ahead 7-0 after one inning.
The only Lady Indian to reach base in the second reached on an error, and Thompson stranded the runner with her fourth strikeout of the game.
Dobbs picked up her second straight hit leading off the bottom of the second. Brock drew a walk, and Loague reached on a error to load the bases. Savage got a run home with a fielder’s choice and Hannah Rooks made it 10-0 with a two-base bloop hit. Lexy Cockerham added another run on an infield hit.
Thompson gave up two walks and a single to load the bases with one out in the top of the third. An error allowed two runs to score, but Loague snared a line drive and stepped on the bag at second for an unassisted double play to prevent further damage.
Icie Cockerham singled leading off the bottom of the third, and Dobbs’ third straight hit plated a run. Holley made it 13-2 with a single to right. After Brock picked up her second hit, back-to-back doubles by Savage and Rooks stretched the Lady Lions margin to 15-2.
Thompson got two more strikeouts and a groundout to keep the Lady Indians in check in the top of the fourth and then led off the bottom half with a triple that brought chalk down the right field line. Loague signaled her to keep running when she rounded third and she was thrown out at the plate.
“That one’s on me,” Loague said. “I thought it would take a perfect throw to get her, and that’s what the right fielder did.”
Icie Cockerham reached on an error, and Dobbs’ fourth straight hit, a double, plated a run. Holley’s fielder’s choice sent the 17th run across and ended the game by the mercy rule.
Thompson had six strikeouts, three walks and only two runs, both unearned in earning the win.
“My fastball was working well tonight,” Thompson said. “Both inside and outside.”