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Lady Rangers score mercy-rule win over HV

BY ALLEN LAMOUNTAIN

STAR CORRESPONDENT

For the eighth time in 14 games, the Unaka Lady Rangers softball team put up double-digit runs and scored their seventh mercy rule victory with a 13-3 five-inning triumph over Happy Valley on Wednesday at Ronnie Hicks Field.

Catcher Kendel Bare was three-for-three with a home run, two doubles and four runs batted in while Sadie Shoun and Trinity Bowers were both also three-for-three with Shoun collecting a double and two RBI and Bowers three-for-three included a run batted in as well.

“We got a good bunch of kids here and most of the time our strength is our hitting,” Lady Rangers head coach Kenneth Chambers said. “Our defense is solid, Haley Gilman is a good defensive third baseman and we are improving in the outfield and we have three good pitchers.

“Kelly Wilson did a good job today. It’s always big to beat a county rival and one as good as Happy Valley is.”

Wilson pitched five innings giving up three runs on eight scattered hits, but was never in danger of giving up a big inning.

The Lady Warriors put two runners on base in the first frame as Shoun failed to come up with a line drive to left field off the bat of HV leadoff hitter Maddie Lingerfelt as the ball ticked off the top of her glove.

Olivia Absher was plunked to put runners on first and second but Wilson retired Reagan Street on a pop fly to shortstop and Abby Holt on a fly ball to the infield.

The Rangers (10-4 overall) scored a pair of runs in the last of the first as Shoun and Bowers each singled and stole second and third respectively.

A ground ball from Alana Parsons plated one run and a two-out double from Bare made it a 2-0 contest. Wilson collected a one-out single in the last of the second inning and with two away Shoun doubled home Wilson and a single from Bowers made it 4-0.

HV (1-7 overall) got on the scoreboard in the third frame on a single from Laura Rice and the second plunk of the game of Absher followed by an RBI single from Street.

The Rangers then unleashed a nine-run bottom of the third against relief pitcher Ellie Mackel.

Bare stroked a one-out double and an infield single from Lyndie Ramsey put runners at the corners for Unaka. Gilman then stroked a two-run single, followed by a run-producing infield error and an RBI single from Bowers for a 7-1 contest.

Now yet finished, Parsons followed with a run batted in with a single to centerfield. With Parsons on first, Noelle Collins doubled to left and Bare then blasted a home run to near dead centerfield for a 13-1 Unaka advantage.

“My first move in my approach to hitting is to have confidence,” Bare said. “If you don’t have that you will only get down on yourself. I had been in a kind of slump lately so this game really put me ahead. To us at Unaka, we believe in family and it doesn’t matter if one girl is down we try to pick her up.”

HV scored a run in the top of the fourth on an RBI hit from Lingerfelt and got another run in the fifth on a single from C.C. Southerland that plated Holt who had doubled but was unable to push across the fourth run that would have extended the game when Wilson got Allie Grindstaff to hit into a 6-6-3 double play that ended the contest.

Unaka 13-3

Happy Valley 001 11 – 3 8 3

Unaka 229 0x – 13 11 1

W – Wilson. L – Holt.

HR – Bare. 2B – Shoun, Bare (2), Holt.