DALE – Over the span of two Class 3A regional tournament games, the Dale Lady Pirates scored 45 runs, compared to four for the opposing teams. With wins over Fairland and and Stroud, Dale will be playing in the 3A state finals Wednesday.
“If we hit at the bottom of the lineup like we did today, I will take our chances against anybody,” Dale coach Andy Powell said.
In the opening game, leadoff hitter Lacey Hood started off with a double, followed up by three straight home runs from Delanie Manning, Dani Manning and Lauren Hood.
To follow up with the home run derby theme, London Cavillo hit a single followed by a Jobi Savage double. Lacey Savage would then draw a walk and Skyler Thompson would score all three on a triple. When the Lady Pirates were done batting in the first inning, they held a 8-0 lead.
“I try to downplay the home runs, but everybody was hitting them today,” Powell said. “When the top of the order hits like they did today, we are going to do well. I wish we could bottle that up and take it with us to the next game.”
Fairland was able to score their only run in the bottom of the first inning when Savannah Hutchinson drove in Kyndall Davis.
Dani Manning would continue the momentum in the third inning, starting things off with a solo homer. Sarah Lock and London Cavillo drew back-to-back walks and Jobi Savage would drive both baserunners in, extending the Dale lead to 11-1.
Dale continued the hot streak in the third when Dani Manning took another pitch yard. She would take two pitches over the fence in the inning.
Later in the inning, Lacey Savage would drive in three runs with another home run for the Lady Pirates. Delanie Manning capped off the 12-run inning for Dale with her third home run of the game, giving Dale an insurmountable 23-1 lead.
In the championship round of the regional tournament, Dale picked up where they left off a few hours earlier. Lacey Hood started the game off with a single and Delanie Manning would bring her around for the first run of the game,
Stroud had seen enough of Dani Manning hitting home runs the previous game and she took her first of two walks in the game. Lauren Hood reached on a single and Mikayla Rutland would bring home two runners for a 3-0 lead in favor of Dale.
When the top of the second inning rolled around, Delanie Manning hit her third home run of the tournament. This one was of the three-run variety, giving the Lady Pirates a 7-0 lead. After Sarah Lock walked and Cavillo drove her in via a triple, Lacey Savage did her best Rickey Henderson impression and scored on an inside the park home run, bringing Dale's lead to 12-0.
In the top of the third inning, Rutland continued the home run theme when she put one over the fence, helping Dale increase their lead to 16-0.
Stroud was able to get two runs back in the bottom of the third.
After a single, double and triple by the top of the order, Lauren Hood took a pitch yard for a grand slam and increased the lead to 20-2.
The Lady Pirates were able to score two more runs before the end of the inning.