The second meeting of East Jessamine and West Jessamine on the softball field was much different than the first meeting back on April 17. West won the early meeting 5-1, its first win over the Lady Jaguars since 2009.
But East (13-16) asserted itself Tuesday night with an 11-1 rout of the Lady Colts (7-19).
“Earlier in the year, they were just having errors, but they’re starting to come together a little bit,” East Jessamine coach Tom Hamm said. “Since that last West game, we’ve won eight out of our last 10 games. They had a little fire under them after they lost to West — they weren’t happy.”
West picked up a run in the top of the first on a single to center field by Alyson Archer, and the Lady Colts’ defense and pitching kept East off the board for the first two frames.
But once the East defense got going in the third inning, it was hard to slow it down.
Haleigh Fain picked up an RBI on a single to left field, tying the game 1-1. Malin Miracle followed with a three-run home run down the left-field line to put East up 3-1.
Hamm is very pleased with the way East has been hitting the ball in recent weeks. More than half the players are hitting better than .300.
The East defense and pitching settled in after the first inning. Pitcher Haylee Hamm worked a quick second inning and got out of a jam in the third inning to strand two runners.
“I thought she (Haylee Hamm) pitched well and the defense played solid,” coach Hamm said.
Following a quick top of the fourth, East tacked on two more runs in the bottom half. Allison Schubert scored on a wild pitch, and Heather Welch scored on a single by Sarah Rainwater.
West had a chance to get on the board again in the top of the fifth, but East was able to cut the run down at the plate and get out of the inning.
Leading 6-1 heading into the bottom of the fifth inning, the first five batters reached base and scored for the Lady Jaguars. Welch scored on a wild pitch to make it 11-1 and end the game on a mercy rule.
“(East) played well today, East played very well. They were able to put the ball in play; (Fain) was able to hit us up the middle a couple times and give them some advantage there,” West Jessamine coach Michelle Baker said. “I thought my kids worked pretty hard; we just get a little wind taken out of our sails. We’re young, get discouraged easy, and it seems like we’re good all the way up until we make that first error.”
The win was East Jessamine’s sixth in a row and eighth in the last 10 games.
“I feel good. I think the top two teams in the region are Boyle and Mercer, and after that, it’s kind of open,” Hamm said. “I think we’re playing as good as anyone in the region right now maybe with the exception of those two teams.”
West Jessamine has lost nine in a row; its last win was against East Jessamine last month.