L-R too much for Lady ‘Hawks

Westwood’s Krista Beaudry makes contact against Lower Richland.

Friday night the Westwood Redhawks hosted the Lady Diamond Hornets of Lower Richland high School. Despite relatively even play early in the game, the Lady Diamonds rallied to defeat Westwood 13-3 in this seven-inning region contest.

The depth, age and maturity of the Lower Richland softball program, coupled with the blazing arm of sophomore pitcher Ashlyn Jolley, made for a long night at Westwood. When Westwood took the field, only six substitutes remained in the dugout, where Lower Richland had 18 girls as backups.

The Redhawks’ developing team is also hampered by lack of depth in the bullpen. Krista Beaudry is the only pitcher Westwood has, and it was clear Friday that fatigue caused her some control problems late in the game. Despite that, Beaudry soldiered on and completed the game, even striking out the final two Diamond Hornet batters.

Westwood head coach Kristina Rendle wanted strong play right from the beginning.

“Our girls need to come out strong with a lot of confidence,” Rendle said. “Lately, it’s taken a couple of innings for them to get going. Lower Richland could bring anything, so we have to be ready.”

Lower Richland scored twice in the first inning when two errors, a wild pitch and a passed ball put two runners on base. The next batter drew a walk, and another error caused two runs to score.

Westwood got on the board in the third, as Jasmine Cannon got aboard on a dropped third strike. Beaudry then singled, advancing Cannon to third. Ashly Ozuna hit a sacrifice fly ball, fielded by the shortstop, but it was deep enough to score Cannon and cut the lead to 2-1, Lower Richland.

But the fifth inning would prove to be a disaster for the Redhawks, as they would see their opponents bring home seven runs. The first three Lower Richland batters got aboard with a double and two singles, and the fourth batter cleared the bases with a triple. The fifth batter then roped a single to right field, bringing home another run. A single by Young loaded the bases and the next batter was walked, bringing in run number five. The sixth and seventh runs were batted in by Mykay Williams, who hit a two-RBI single. The inning ended when Jolley flied out to Beaudry, but by then the Diamond Hornets had built a 9-2 lead.

Lower Richland tacked on another run in the sixth inning when the first batter singled, then stole second base. A hit by the third batter brought in the run. The final inning would be another slugfest by the Lady Diamond Hornets, who would score four runs. Despite some obvious fatigue, the tiring Beaudry struck out the final two Diamond batters. The final run of the game was scored by the Redhawks’ Samantha Hall who got as far as third on passed balls and was batted in by Beaudry, who hit an RBI single.

Jolley got the win for Lower Richland, hurling 44 strikes and 26 balls for five strikeouts and no walks. Beaudry took the loss for the Lady Redhawks, with balls outweighing strikes 46-40. Beaudry fanned four Diamond Hornets and walked seven.

Westwood traveled to A.C. Flora Thursday night (March 28) and returns home April 8 to host Ridge View High School at 6 p.m.

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