Team brings record to 3-1 with second mercy-rule win of season
APR 5, QUINCE ORCHARD HIGH SCHOOL --
In Blair's loss to Sherwood Apr 3, pitcher Emma Simson struggled throughout. She got a chance to rest today, as JV pitcher Ellie Blalock comfortably handled the Quince Orchard (QO) High School Cougars en route to a 16-4 victory in five innings.
The Blazers hit the ball well both while bunting and swinging away, a change from the team's poor performance at the plate against Sherwood. Senior co-captains Carly Vieira and Sophie Strike had a home run and double, respectively, to punctuate the Blazers' improvements in power hitting.
Strike was quick to play her dominant performance down. "The pitcher was the perfect speed," she said. "She had enough that we could hit it really far, but she wasn't so slow that we were way out in front. It was great for our confidence at the plate."
The power hitting is the final component of Coach Louis Hoelman's vision of a true "small-ball" offense, in which the top and bottom of the order bunt to reach base and allow the heart of the lineup to drive them in with longer shots. Bunting has not been a problem for the Blazers this season, with leadoff hitters Amy Ernst and Amy Nguyen using their speed to maximum effect.
Blair also was able to score early, fulfilling Hoelman's top priority for the team. The Blazers built a 14-1 lead before QO was able to register another run. In the game against Sherwood, Blair did not even have a runner on base until the last inning. "It was our first bounce-back win of the season, and we had our best batting game of the year," said Hoelman.
A major bonus afforded by Blair's large early lead was the time it afforded to reserves. Seniors Elizabeth Inkellis and Norma Menjivar and juniors Katherine Epstein and Sally Haskell all saw time at the plate and on the field, contributing solid hitting and fielding to the Blazers' closing efforts. "It was a great opportunity for some of the girls to see real time on the field," said Hoelman. "I'm really proud of how they performed."
Blair scored twice in the first inning and let up QO's first run in the bottom of the first on a passed ball. In the second inning, however, the Blazers warmed to the QO pitcher. Strike led off the inning with a single. She was scored on a single by Ernst, kicking off an 11-point run in which Strike had two hits as the Blazers batted around and change.
QO was never able to close the gap, and the game was called in the fifth: the earliest inning possible according to Montgomery County's mercy-rule policy. Things are looking up for the Blazers, whose next game is on Apr 8 at 7 p.m. against Magruder High School.
Luke Bostian. Luke Bostian is a senior in CAP and has nothing much to say for himself. Well, actually, that's a lie. Luke has a lot to say for himself and says it all the time. So he won't bore you with it. Suffice it to say … More »