ECRU– The Lady Vikings run-ruled Independence 28-0 in three innings last Tuesday in the first game of a double header that they ultimately swept.
North batted around three times in the first inning, pounding out 13 hits while Cadie Beth Gates controlled things from the circle. The junior hurler struck out 5 while allowing only one hit.
“I thought we came out and hit the ball hard while our pitcher threw a great game,” said North coach Cee Cee Cavenaugh. “We kept hitting the ball hard and forced them to make some plays, and it caused a few errors and allowed us to put up a lot of runs.”
The Lady Wildcats struggled with errors and command in the circle the entire day. Lindsey Coffey led off the bottom of the first with a walk. Two batters later Ava Merritt doubled on a line drive to left to make it 1-0. Cadie Beth Gates hit a ground ball and reached on an error at shortstop that allowed Merritt to score. Allie Leath then doubled to score runner Tayler Bishop to make it 3-0. North went up 6-0 after a fielding error and two wild pitches.
The Lady Vikings extended the lead to 8-0 after a bases loaded walk and a hit by pitch. An Allie Leath single drove in another run, and North scored on another bases loaded walk to make it 10-0. Anna Grace Coomer had a 2-run single, and another fielding error helped North to a 13-0 advantage. Back to back walks with the bases loaded plated two additional runs, and then Merritt cleared the bases with a double to make it 18-0. Gates drove in Merritt, and Brooke McBrayer drove in Gates to extend the lead to 20-0. Coomer drove home another run, and Belle Ross drove in McBrayer.
The Lady Vikings then subbed their starters and continued the hitting barrage, adding three more runs in the inning to lead 25-0. They added three more runs in the bottom of the second inning to finish off Independence.
As a team North drew 13 walks and had 13 hits, with Merritt, Leath and Coomer all having multi-hit games. Every starter for the Lady Vikings crossed the plate three times apiece.
The Lady Vikings continued dominating in game two, rolling to a 16-1 victory, but they started a little slower at the plate.
“I thought we came out slow and were too relaxed in game two,” said coach Cavenaugh. “But by the second inning we put some runs on the board and busted it open in the third.”
Cadie Beth Gates was in the circle again for North, and after a scoreless first inning the Lady Vikings took charge in the bottom of the second. They scored nine runs to take a 9-0 lead, with Ava Merritt leading the way with a 2-run double in the inning. The Lady Wildcats scored a run in the top of the third, but it wouldn’t be nearly enough as North finished them off with another huge 7-run inning to win 16-1.
Haisley Coker drove in four runs in the second contest, with Coffey, Merritt and Ross each also recording 2 RBI. Coomer and Robbins finished with two hits.
Cadie Beth Gates, in two games, pitched 5 innings and gave up 4 hits, one run, and struck out 10.
“I thought Cadie Beth pitched really well,” said Cavenaugh. “She got the job done.”
On Friday the Lady Vikings defeated Water Valley 4-0 behind a 1-run shutout from Gates that included 11 strikeouts. North finishes as the 2019 Division 2-3A champions, the fourth consecutive year they have won a division title.