Eight-run fifth lifts Hokes Bluff softball past Sand Rock

Sand Rock’s Katelyn St.Clair connects for a hit against Hokes Bluff on Monday. Photo by Shannon Fagan.

By Shannon Fagan, WEIS Sports Director

SAND ROCK – Things got off to a smooth start for the Sand Rock softball team against visiting Hokes Bluff on Monday. Solo home runs by Katelyn St.Clair in the first inning and Emma Sipsy in the third helped the Lady Wildcats build a 3-1 lead.

But then the outs were hard to come by for the young Lady Wildcats in the top of the fifth.

Hokes Bluff sent 13 batters to the plate and scored eight runs. They added two more in the sixth and three more in the seventh to take a 14-3 victory.

“We’re learning,” Sand Rock coach Josh Bates said. “We’re trying to find our identity as a team, as players and as individuals. We had a bad inning where we just couldn’t find an out. We’ve got to learn to eliminate that bad inning.”

But before that bad inning came into play, Sand Rock (1-3) was in control early. The Lady Wildcats scored a pair of runs in the bottom of the first on a Sipsy double that scored leadoff batter Aliyah King, who walked. Sipsy tried to extend her double into a triple, but was thrown out at third.

St.Clair followed with her home run to right off Hokes Bluff pitcher Lacey Grace Hall. After an inning, Sand Rock led 2-0.

Hokes Bluff got a run in the top of the third, but then St.Clair got it right back in the bottom half by leading off with her home run to left to make the score 3-1.

It remained 3-1 until the fifth. Hokes Bluff strung together nine straight hits and scored eight runs against Sipsy before the Lady Wildcats finally retired the side. The inning proved to be enough run support for Hall, who picked up the complete game win in the circle after scattering three earned runs on seven hits with five walks and five strikeouts.

Hall also helped herself out at a plate by going 2-for-4 with a double and a walk. Makenna Bennich led the Lady Eagles by going 3-for-4 with a home run in the sixth. Sophia Jackson and Kadyn Howell were both 2-for-4. One of Howell’s hits was a triple.

Sipsy, who suffered the loss for Sand Rock, led the Lady Wildcats at the plate by going 3-for-3 with a homer, a double, a single, a walk and a RBI. St.Clair was 2-for-3, including a homer. Bailey Kilgore and Alyvia McMichen both contributed a hit. McMichen’s hit was a double.

King, Macy Martin, Kilgore and Emma Thompson each drew a walk.

“All of this right now is just practice,” Bates said. “We’re just trying to get better each and every game and learn. We’ll keep working every day and try to be playing good at the end of the year.”

Sand Rock’s Emma Sipsy delivers to a Hokes Bluff hitter on Monday. Photo by Shannon Fagan.
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