By GENE PHELPS
HAMILTON – Jabria Pounds and her Nettleton Lady Tigers teammates had the pickups scattering in the outfield Monday night.
Pounds, a junior outfielder, blasted two home runs while Kaleigh Tackett, Harley Tucker and Brittany Adams also homered to keep their slow-pitch softball team unbeaten, 16-8 over Hamilton.
Four homers came in a seven-run fourth inning.
“When this team picks out good pitches we’ve got that kind of potential,” Nettleton coach Dana Rhea said. “They’re fun to watch when they get going.”
Nettleton (5-0) produced 18 hits and had an opportunity to end the game early after taking a 13-1 lead through four innings.
However, Hamilton (5-4), last year’s 2A state champion and the weekend winner of the Monroe County Tournament, responded with a six-run fifth.
The key blow for the Lady Lions was a two-out grand slam homer by sophomore catcher Hope Manasco. The homer was a career first and came after Addie Thompson was walked to load the bases and set up a force.
“(Dana Rhea) told me, ‘I probably just gave you a grand slam,’” Hamilton coach Bryan Loague said. “I told him Manasco’s not a power hitter. Where did that come from?”
Taylor Hyland, who went 4-for-4, belted a two-run homer earlier in the inning for Hamilton.
Nettleton took a 3-0 lead in the first and made it 6-0 in the second. The game’s first run was on a solo shot by Pounds that hit a truck parked in center field.
The home run barrage in the fourth sent another truck scrambling for cover.
“We’re playing together and having fun as a team,” said Pounds, who was intentionally walked three times. “We’ve had an amazing start.”