DALE – Tuesday night's game with No. 1 in Class 5A Morris turned out quite different than Dale coach Andy Powell was expecting.
Powell's No. 1 in Class 4A Lady Pirates trounced the top-ranked Morris team 14-0 in four innings. Morris was the first team Dale faced to start the season and subsequently the first of only two losses the 27-2 Lady Pirates have suffered to this point.
“We kind of had this circled on our calendar, and we were ready to play,” Powell said. “Obviously they weren't, I don't know why... but we played well.”
Mikayla Rutland hit a two-run blast in the bottom of the third to go ahead 14-0, but the Lady Pirates didn't get another run across for the 15-after-3 run-rule and had to take care of business in the top of the fourth instead.
Rutland was 3-3 with five RBI and homered two times as the Lady Pirates hit four long balls. What Powell liked most about the home runs was that they were line drives and not long popups.
“They were line drives that were smoked. What we've been talking about and working on,” he said. “I don't like those ones that are way high and the wind blows them out.”
Sara Lock singled and Delanie Manning took a walk as the lead-offs for Dale in the bottom of the first and Rutland brought them home with a shot to center right for a 3-0 lead.
Kaylee Lawson singled in the bottom of the second to score London Calvillo and Emmie Idleman and kick off a nine-run rally. Lock homered to straightaway center, Jobey Savage hit a bomb to center right and Idleman doubled to drive in Skyler Thompson and Rylie Premo scored on an error.
Lock was 2-3 and scored twice and Savage was 2-2 with a double and walked once. Manning went 1-1 after being walked twice and scored on all three occasions.
The Lady Pirates travel to 5A-No. 9 McLoud (18-7) today for a game at 5 p.m. and will host their district game with 7-7 Wellston Thursday. Powell is confident in his team and their playoff experience as the postseason approaches.
“We talk about it all the time, fast pitch is more of a marathon, this is such a sprint because all of the games are played in one day,” he said. “You've only got to be good for two days. You've got to be good at regionals and you've got to be good one day in the state tournament. We know that and we've got a veteran bunch.”