Lady Noles strike early against Lady Tigers

SMITHVILLE – It usually takes the Lady Noles a few weeks into the season to get their bats warmed up, but they’re wasting no time this season.

Melissa Meador/Monroe Journal Hatley catcher Mary Reeves gets Smithville's Hailey Hughey out at the plate on Monday night.

Melissa Meador/Monroe Journal
Hatley catcher Mary Reeves gets Smithville’s Hailey Hughey out at the plate on Monday night.

Smithville topped county rival Hatley 12-1 on Monday night, racking up eight hits along the way.

“We took advantage of some mistakes they made in the second and third. They threw the ball away a couple of times, and it just kind of escalated from there,” Smithville coach Jeremy Duke said. “But I think we’ve been putting the bat on the ball pretty well so far this season.”
Hatley scored its lone run in the top of the first when Maci Farrar hit a one-out double, and Ashton Wright singled her home.
The Lady Noles struck big in the bottom of the second, plating five and sending 11 batters to the plate. Katie Beth Williams led off with a double and scored when Kyla Ford reached on an erorr. Lane Kennedy knocked in a run with an RBI single, while Angel Guyton plated three runs with her bases-loaded double.
Smithville added another six in the third. Guyton and Breanna Edgeworth each drew bases loaded walks, while Laken Armstrong and Ford each hit two-run singles. Guyton added her fifth RBI of the night with a single in the bottom of the fourth.
Morgan Barrett picked up the win for the Lady Noles, allowing four hits and striking out four.
Duke said the plan is to interchange Barrett and Guyton in the circle. Guyton made a handful of starts last season when regular starter Meagan Whitehead was out with a broken hand.
“They’re going to get the bulk of the games this year, and both of them are doing a great job,” Duke said. “They compliment each other well. If one’s not pitching, they’re playing third. We feel good about both of them.”
With the win, Smithville improves to 4-2 on the season.
“We’ve picked it up a little bit. We had a rough night on Friday. It was bitter cold, and we lost a walkoff game to Saltillo,” Duke said. “But I think we’ve started off the season pretty well. Everything’s going good so far.”
Hatley is still searching for the replacement for longtime starting pitcher Lesley Hudson. Ashton Wright and Courtney Roberts both saw pitching time on Monday night.
“We have to have some consistency on the mound. We can’t throw strikes, and we’re walking too many,” Hatley coach Chris George said. “Tonight we actually kicked the ball around behind them a little bit too, so that didn’t help our cause.”
Maci Farrar went 2 for 3 at the plate while Mary Reeves and Wright also each added a hit.
“We’re still young. I think we have three in the lineup with any playing experience whatsoever,” George said. “The other six are learning on the fly.”