By Melissa Meador
HATLEY – Hatley’s lone slow-pitch softball senior, Courtney Roberts, is returning to form.
Roberts hit for the cycle on Thursday night in Hatley’s 13-8 division win over Mantachie, which included a two-run home run in the first inning and a two-run double in a nine-run fourth for the Lady Tigers.
“I didn’t even know I did it until after the game was over,” Roberts said. “I had a good day at the plate on Saturday, and I think it carried over. Tonight is a big win for us.”
Mantachie put up a run in the first on a Tori Hendric RBI single, but Hatley worked out of a bases-loaded situation with an inning-ending double play.
In the bottom of the first, leadoff hitter Abby Cantrell worked a walk before Roberts, a lefty, launched her two-run shot over the right center field wall.
The two teams traded runs in the second, with Mantachie’s coming on an RBI single from Montana Robbins and Hatley’s on an Abby Cantrell RBI single.
The Lady Mustangs (15-3, 4-1 Division 1-2A) took a 6-3 lead with a four-run third, including run-scoring hits from Shanna Carnathan and Anna Wagster.
The Lady Tigers (8-5, 4-2) answered with a nine-run, ten-hit fourth inning.
Taylor Kennedy and Katie Carter each hit a pair of singles in the rally, knocking in a run each. Rachel Hissong was on base twice, while the big blow came off a two-run double from Roberts. Mary Reeves followed her up with another RBI double for a 12-6 lead.
“The last eight swings (Roberts) has taken, the ball has been hit as hard as she could possibly hit it,” said Hatley coach Chris George. “She’s back to her old self. We put it together tonight and kept the ball out of the air.”
Mantachie cut the gap to 12-8 in the fifth, scoring runs on a fielder’s choice from Wagster and an RBI single from Robbins. Roberts countered in Hatley’s sixth, however, leading off with a triple to complete her cycle and scoring on Reeves RBI single.
“We had people on base, but we didn’t get that big time hit,” Mantachie coach Kristi Montgomery said. “That’s what hurt us.”