Dale hits 12 homers in first-round win at state

Brian Johnson
Shawnee News-Star, USA TODAY NETWORK
Sam Hartman (right) is congratulated by some of her teammates at home plate after hitting one of her four home runs Wednesday against Valliant in the first round of the Class 4A State Slow Pitch Tournament at the Ballfields at Firelake.

Though it was a morning game, it didn't take long for the Dale bats to wake up Wednesday in the opening round of the Class 4A State Slow Pitch Tournament.

The Lady Pirates cranked out 26 hits, including a whopping 12 home runs, in rolling to a 25-7 rout of Valliant in four innings at the Ballfields at Firelake.

Dale, which improved to 38-2, was set to play in the semifinals late Wednesday afternoon.

Leading the Lady Pirate home run barrage was Sam Hertman, who clubbed four of them in all four of her plate appearances.

Danyn Lang, Anna Hester and Chayse Caram cranked out two dingers apiece while Maddie Conley and Karsen Griggs each went deep once.

As a team, Dale was 26-for-39 from the plate against the Lady Bulldogs, who displayed a little pop of their own with Western Mussett and Maysa Weeks each homering once.

But it wasn't enough to catch up with the Lady Pirates, who tallied six runs in the first before plating 10 more in the second in taking control.

Besides Hartman's 4-for-4, four-blast performance, Lang and Conley were each 4-for-4 as well. With her two homers in the leadoff spot, Lang finished with three runs batted in and four runs scored. Conley had the one homer and ended up with two RBIs.

Griggs, Caram and Addie Bell each had 3-for-4 outings. Griggs provided a two-run triple and a two-run homer to finish with four runs batted in. Caram slammed a pair of two-run homers and ended up with four RBIs and Bell doubled one time.

Hester homered in her final two at-bats as she finished 2-for-4 with four runs batted in.

Dale's six-run first inning featured Griggs' two-run triple off the wall in center, Hester's RBI groundout, Hartman's first blast (a solo-shot), Bell's double and Caram's two-run shot to make it 6-0.

Valliant countered with one score in the bottom of the first before the Lady Pirates put together their biggest inning of the game, a 10-run explosion.

Lang's one-out, solo-homer set the stage. After a Conley single, Griggs blasted a two-run homer. Hartman later launched a two-out solo-shot. Idleman later picked up an RBI single, Lexi White hit a two-run double and Lang homered to left, scoring two more runs.

The Lady Bulldogs pulled within 16-5 with a four-run second inning.

However, the four-run third for Dale began with back-to-back solo-blasts by Hester and Hartman. Bell followed with a single and Caram homered to left-center, bringing home two more runs for a 20-5 Lady Pirate advantage.

Valliant picked up two more scores in the third off Weeks' two-run shot, but Dale managed to pour it one more.

The five-run fourth for the Lady Pirates included Conley's two-run shot to right (after Lang got on with a leadoff single to left), Hester's two-run blast (after a Griggs single up the middle) and Hartman's fourth and final home run (a solo-shot).

Ironically, all four of Hartman's homers were solo-blasts in the game.

NOTE: The remainder of Wednesday's action for Dale along with that for North Rock Creek and Tecumseh will appear in Friday's edition of the Shawnee News-Star.