By Shannon Fagan, WEIS Sports Director
SAND ROCK – Sand Rock senior pitcher Jadyn Foster admitted she was a little nervous in the circle on Monday afternoon against Cedar Bluff. She was well aware she just three strikeouts away from reaching 1,000 Ks for her career.
Foster got the milestone she’s wanted since she first started pitching early. She struck out Haley Allen swinging for the second out in the top of the second inning. Sand Rock coach Josh Bates called time out following the strikeout to call the Lady Wildcats inside the circle to announce her milestone.
For good measure, Foster helped herself at the plate by going 2-for-3 with a two-run homer to center field in the bottom of the fourth inning. She also belted a RBI-double in the second and was hit by a pitch in the first in Class 2A, No. 3 Sand Rock’s 8-1 win.
Following the game, Bates presented Foster with a banner commemorating her milestone.
“It hasn’t sunk in yet,” Foster said. “Their first four batters or so are really good hitters, but I try not to worry about who the hitter is. I just try to get them to swing at a pitch.”
Bates said Foster’s milestone is well-deserved.
“It’s a goal she’s wanted to reach and something she’s worked hard for,” Bates said. “She works hard every day and puts all the extra time in. It couldn’t happen for a better kid to get that 1,000th strikeout on this field tonight at home.”
Foster tossed three no-hit innings, allowing an unearned run in the top of third with seven strikeouts before Bates brought in EllaGrace Hood to finish out the game. Hood was almost as dominant. She tossed the final four innings allowing no hits with eight strikeouts.
Hood also went 2-for-3 at the plate with a two-run triple to right in the first and a single to left in the second. She was also hit by a pitch.
“They’re a great combination. They work well together and compliment each other really well,” Bates said of Foster and Hood. “It’s one of those things where I try to work them both, try to get them both some time because we’re going to need both of them down the stretch. Jadyn turns into the catcher when she’s not pitching. I think that’s great. I think her and Ella are a great team. They encourage each other. They’re constantly talking. I think they’ve become best friends. They work hard together and they push each other. That’s the great thing about it. That’s a great thing for our team.”
Sand Rock (27-6) scored three runs in the first, two more in the second, a run in the third and the final two runs on Foster’s homer in the fourth.
Class 1A, No. 4 Cedar Bluff (11-14) scored an unearned run in the third. Kylie Vadon walked to lead off the inning and scored with two outs when Mattie Payne sent a shot to right field that was misplayed.
King had a double to left center to lead off the third. Emma Sipsy delivered a RBI-single in the first and walked in the sixth. Katelyn StClair added a run-scoring hit in the second and was hit by a pitch.
Lacey Barnette finished with an infield single. Sherina Foster and Briley Knight both drew a walk apiece. Bailey Kilgore drove in a run.
Vadon and Ciana Smith both drew a walk apiece for Cedar Bluff. Natalie Baty suffered the loss after working three innings before being relieved by Reece Patterson.