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Ladies return to the diamond
Hall's Backhoe starts with two victories
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Excitement was in the air last week when the girls 11-13 senior league returned after a one-year hiatus.
Four teams made their debuts, but none was better than Hall’s Backhoe during the first week.
Hall’s Backhoe surged to the top of the standings early with a 10-0 victory over Tennessee Warehouse Thursday and an 8-4 win over Ben Lomand Connect Friday.
Powered by Ashton Whiles in the circle and the hitting of Lexie Chadwell, Hall’s Backhoe was able to take early command in both contests.
Whiles threw a no-hitter against Tennessee Warehouse and with 10 strikeouts during the week while Chadwell reached base in all six of her at-bats.
In Thursday’s night game at Hoover and Millraney Field, Chadwell launched a double into right field in the first inning to start the scoring against Tennessee Warehouse. Sarah Ruiz followed with a RBI single as Hall’s Backhoe took an early 2-0 lead.
The advantage swelled to 7-0 in the second inning when Grace Rains’ bases-loaded single brought in Keera Smith and Abby Blanton  while Emily Mikkola, Rains and Chadwell were able to score on errors.
It was more than enough runs for Whiles, who retired Tennessee Warehouse in order in the final four innings. The only runners to reach base for Tennessee Warehouse were on four walks issued by Hall’s Backhoe’s powerful hurler.
Whiles would add a RBI single in the fourth before Mikkola ended the game by mercy rule with a two-run double in the fifth.
In Friday’s game at Pete Holt Field, Chadwell continued the trend of supplying early offense with a two-run triple in the first inning. Chadwell would later score on a pop fly.
Hall’s Backhoe began blistering the ball in the second inning while building an 8-0 advantage.
Blanton started a two-out rally with a single that sparked a five-run explosion.
Rains, Whiles and Mikkola followed with three straight RBI doubles before Chadwell, Kansas Hennessee and Alyssa Jones reached on run-scoring singles.
Ben Lomand showed some fight in the fourth inning when it scored all three of its runs. Calyn Damon scored Savannah Cox on a RBI single before the team was able to use small-ball to bring around two more runs in the frame.
The three runs weren’t enough though as Ben Lomand’s late rally fell short.
Cox singled and scored in the top of the sixth inning to cut the deficit to 8-4, but Whiles was able to record the final out with the bases loaded.
The loss dropped Ben Lomand to 0-2 as the team also fell in the season opener last Tuesday 14-4 to Letitia Lane Photography.
Maddie Cantrell played a starring role in the win for Letitia Lane Photography as the pitcher struck out 10 and went 3-for-3 at the plate with five RBIs.
Cantrell’s three-run, inside-the-park home run in the top of the first gave Letitia Lane Photography an early lead, but Ben Lomand Connect would answer back with three runs in the bottom of the first. Cox, Young and MaKenzie Woods each had hits in the first frame to help Ben Lomand deadlock the game at 3-3.
Savannah English, who also finished 3-for-3, helped Letitia Lane Photography take the lead for good with a RBI single in the third inning. Carigan Aughinbaugh followed with a RBI double while Kara Teasley’s two-run single made it 7-3.
Young hit an inside-the-park home run in the bottom of the fourth to give Ben Lomand some momentary momentum, but Letitia Lane Photography came back with a run in the fifth – Shonacye Rutledge scored on a passed ball – before finishing off the game with six runs in the sixth inning.
Cantrell capped an inning that featured five walks with a two-run double that pushed her team’s lead to 10.
Cantrell would finish off her outstanding performance with two strikeouts in the bottom of the sixth before ending the game by forcing a groundout to first base.
Rutledge scored four runs and finished with two hits for Letitia Lane Photography. Teasley and Abi Ellis had one hit each.
League action will continue Tuesday night when Tennessee Warehouse takes on Letitia Lane Photography at 5:30 p.m. on Pete Holt Field.