By GENE PHELPS
SALTILLO – Amory’s offense showed some life in last weekend’s Monroe County Tournament, but it wasn’t enough to win a championship.
The Lady Panthers roared even more Tuesday night.
Amory’s bats produced 20 hits – three apiece from Bailey Oswalt, Aynslee Willis, Carley Westbrook and Gabby Hall – in five innings to lead it to a 12-1 softball victory against Saltillo.
Willis led the Lady Panthers (7-2) with three doubles. Her two-run double in the second inning gave Amory a 5-0 lead.
“That’s the best we’ve hit the ball all year,” Amory coach Chris Pace said. “The key to slow-pitch is hitting.”
Amory’s had three 1-0 victories this season against Hamilton, Hatley and Smithville. The Lady Panthers’ two losses came in the county tournament finals – 6-5 and 10-9 to Hamilton.
‘Kept it going’
“We hadn’t been able to put it all together, but we did tonight,” said Oswalt, a senior shortstop. “The defense has been helping, especially with those 1-0 games.
“We came out and started hitting Saturday (against Hamilton) in the last inning of the last game. We kept it going.”
Amory scored runs in every inning against Saltillo (3-5). Willis’ doubles produced three RBI while Oswalt and Westbrook had two RBI each.
The Lady Panthers were also aggressive running the bases once they got on.
“We want to be aggressive,” Pace said. “We want to make something happen. We’d been struggling at the plate and on the scoreboard.
“We’ve got a little more speed this year than we’ve had in the past.”
Amory also gave a strong defensive performance against the Lady Tigers in the infield and the outfield.
Oswalt believes the key pieces are in place for Amory to make the postseason and make a run for a 4A state title. The Lady Panthers didn’t qualify for the postseason last year.
“I think we’re good … good enough to go to state,” she said.