Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

May 15, 2014

Ashland pounds out 17 runs

Rocky Stanley
The Independent

RACELAND — Ashland coach Dave Miller wasn’t sure what to expect from his team on a chilly and damp Thursday evening after several softball and baseball cancellations around the area.

Raceland had its field in nice shape, thanks to the coverage of an infield tarp. That made for good footing and the 19th-ranked Kittens quickly turned the base paths into a merry-go-round.

Ashland batted around three times in four innings, piling up 17 hits and taking advantage of a leaky defense to cruise past the Lady Rams 17-0.

“It’s the end of the season and we are thrilled to be on the field,” Miller said. “Evidently, we were ready to go.”

The Kittens scored six runs in each of the first two innings and received yet another brilliant performance from Megan Hensley.

The junior pitcher/clean-up hitter fired a four-inning no-hitter — her sixth of the season — and also blasted her ninth home run.

“Megan’s a great pitcher to play behind,” Ashland second baseman Katie Baldock said. “She does so much for the team.”

Hensley struck out 10 batters for her 18th double-digit output this spring. Offensively, Hensley and Baldock each finished with three hits. Baldock continued her strong sophomore season by driving in five runs with a bases-loaded double and two singles.

Miller likes to describe Baldock as “the fly in the ointment” for her ability to become a nuisance to opponents.

“Katie pesters the daylights out of people,” Ashland’s coach said. “She’s a great contact hitter who takes the ball to the right side and bunts well. The kid’s as clutch as anybody.”

Every Ashland starter had at least one hit by the middle of the third inning.     

“That’s our goal every game, for everybody in the lineup to get a hit,” Miller said. “Then from there, it’s whoever’s on fire.”

Everybody got into the act. Leadoff batter Sydney Whitt singled, doubled, scored three runs and drove in two. Hayley Kilburn reached safely all four trips, including two singles, and scored twice. Carly Conley and Sidney Campbell also supplied two hits apiece. Conley had a couple of RBI singles and crossed the plate two times. McKenzie Vanover was on base all four times and scored three runs.

With the victory, Ashland reached the 25-win mark for the sixth consecutive season.  

Raceland helped out with six infield errors and failed to make some other plays. The Lady Rams (20-12) played without shortstop Kymbria Williams, a .400 hitter with five home runs.     

“I know Raceland made mistakes. They are a young team, and their shortstop quit,” Miller said. “We just jumped out on them.”

The Kittens sent 11 batters to the plate in both the first and second innings. Hensley added a three-run shot in the fourth as the lead continued to balloon.

Ashland (25-4) plays at Russell today and then heads to Louisville to wrap up the regular season. The Kittens are scheduled to take on No. 3 Central Hardin and No. 11 Bullitt East on Saturday.

Raceland’s next game is Tuesday against Russell in the 63rd District Tournament at Lewis County.

 

ASHLAND    660    5    —    17    17    0

RACELAND    000    0    —    0    0    6

Hensley and Campbell; Diller and Curley. W—Hensley. L—Diller. 2B—Baldock (A), Meade (A), Whitt (A). HR—Hensley (A).

ROCKY STANLEY can be reached at rstanley@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2671.