by John Howley / sportingpumpkin.com
AMANDA — Teays Valley struck early and used a big third inning to defeat host Amanda-Clearcreek 14-1 in five innings Monday.
A first-inning error with two outs by the Aces got the ball rolling for the Vikings as they took advantage of the mistake to get out to a 3-0 lead.
After the leadoff hitter grounded out in the third, Teays Valley collected six hits before the second out and had eight in the inning as the Vikings scored eight times.
Overall, TV collected 15 hits, including five for extra bases, on the night.
“Staying patient at the plate has been a struggle. Finally, these last few games we’re starting to stay patient and stay behind the ball and drive the ball,” TV coach Derrick Hastler said. “Early on we had death grips on the bats and tried to do too much. We’re finally starting to settle in and just be ourselves.”
The Aces were limited to five hits on the night with three coming in the third inning when AC scored its lone run.
“We were excited coming in with our athleticism on defense. We knew for people to get hits they were going to have be pretty honest hits. It’s hard to get cheap hits against us just because we are pretty athletic and pretty speedy on defense,” Hastler said. “They do a great job of stealing the little hits and things that could fall in sometimes.”
“Our bats normally have been strong enough to win most of the games but playing a team like Teays Valley, they’re going to take advantage of your mistakes. That’s exactly what they did,” AC coach Benny Hedrick said.
Morgan Cantrell had a strong bat for the Vikings going 3-4 with two triples and a double. She drove in two and scored twice. Faith Thompson went 3-3 with a triple, drove in two runs and scored three times. Kennedy Cauger went 2-3 with two RBI and a run scored.
Liberty Hopper led the Aces going 2-2 with an RBI.
Alexis Brown went the distance for the Vikings as she struck out one and gave up only one walk.
“All year long they’ve really done a tremendous job just pounding the strike zone and letting the girls play behind them,” Hastler said of his pitchers.
Paige Alford got the start for the Aces and lasted two and a third innings giving up nine hits and nine runs (six earned) while striking out one. Shyanne Miller took over on the mound and finished out the game. She allowed six hits and five runs (two earned) while striking out one and walking one.
The Aces had three errors in the game.
“We’re going to move people around and figure something out because we can’t continue to make errors,” Hedrick said. “That’s what’s killing us right now. There’s only two losses but we’re a better team than what we showed out there tonight. That’s what’s frustrating.”
The Vikings (7-1, 4-0) are on the road the rest of the week at Marysville Tuesday, at Bloom-Carroll Wednesday and at Hamilton Township Friday.
The Aces (3-2, 2-2) are home with Logan Elm Wednesday, Liberty Union Friday and for two with Miami Trace Saturday.