HATLEY – DeAnna Wright’s played for a state championship, but Hatley’s catcher has never experienced winning a division title.
That could change this week.
Wright’s Lady Tigers defeated Hamilton 12-2 in six innings Tuesday to move within one win of claiming the Division 3-2A regular-season crown.
“We’ve made it all the way to state, but we’ve never won the division before,” said Wright, who had an RBI triple against Hamilton. “That’s one of our goals. We’re taking it step by step. This is a tough division and we’re not overlooking anybody.”
Hatley (13-8, 5-0) can clinch 3-2A and a top-seed in the state playoffs with a win home victory Friday against East Webster. The Lady Tigers defeated the Wolverines 3-1 earlier this month on the road.
“This is my fifth year and we’ve never won the division,” Hatley coach Chris George said. “That’s one of our goals. We thought coming in we were the best team. We want to bring it home.”
Hamilton (7-11, 1-3) took a 1-0 lead in the first when Caitlyn Atkins doubled and scored on a ground out.
Hatley answered in its half of the first, taking a 3-0 lead on a single by Courtney Roberts and a two-RBI single by pitcher Lesley Hudson.
The Lady Tigers added three more in the second to take a 6-1 advantage. Wright and Kelsey Wilson had back-to-back triples.
Raimi Bryan’s RBI single in the fourth cut Hatley’s lead to 6-2, however, the Tigers answered with a run in the fifth on a ground out by Roberts.
The Lady Tigers sealed the win with a five-run sixth inning. Hudson, Lauren Sloan, Allory Ashcraft and Katy Duling all had RBI singles while Wright added her second base hit. Sloan’s single to the gap in right center plated two runs.
“We actually hit the ball from beginning to end tonight,” George said. “We’ve been jumping out to leads then coasting. We didn’t do that tonight.”
Gene Phelps/NEMS Daily Journal