By Melissa Meador/Monroe Journal
AMORY – Amory’s offense made a statement on Friday, pounding out 14 hits on the way to grabbing the Monroe County Fastpitch Tournament championship with a 9-1 win over Hamilton.
The Lady Panthers won a pair of games over runnerup Hamilton on Friday and also beat Smithville in the continuation of the tournament that was cut short by weather a week ago.
“Our girls wanted to win this one today, and it was their first time to do it in five or six years,” Amory coach Amir Hunt said. “They felt like it was their time, and they battled on from some mistakes early in the day.”
Hamilton took a quick 1-0 lead in the first after leadoff hitter Addie Thompson singled and scored on a Cheyenne Logan RBI double.
Amory responded with a pair of runs in the bottom half of the inning. Bailey Oswalt led off with a double and came home on a single from Bailey Boyd, while starting pitcher Josie Booth helped her own cause with an RBI double.
Booth held Hamilton scoreless for the rest of the game, allowing three hits in her five innings of work and striking out six.
The Lady Panthers tacked on another two runs in the fourth with Carley Westbrook singling to open the inning and scoring when Alex Stevens reached on a Hamilton error. Erin Griffith’s sacrifice fly plated Stevens.
Amory dealt the final blow in the fifth, batting around and plating five runs with two outs. Westbrook started the two-out hitting with her RBI triple to score Aynslee Willis, and Stevens, Griffith, Oswalt and Boyd all tacked on run-scoring singles.
Thompson finished with a pair of singles for Hamilton, who had wins over Smithville and Hatley to advance to the championship game. Oswalt led at the plate for Amory, going 3 for 4 and being a home run away from the cycle.
“Defensively, we haven’t played well in the last two weeks,” Hamilton coach Bryan Loague said. “Our pitching has been better than I thought it would be, but when you make this many errors, you’re not going to win.”