By Gene Phelps
SMITHVILLE – Fans attending Tuesday night’s slow pitch softball game between Monroe County rivals Hamilton and Smithville were treated to a Home Run Derby.
In all, 11 homers were hit between the two Division 4-1A foes.
The visiting Lady Lions blasted eight of the long balls to capture a 14-3 victory in six innings against the Lady Seminoles.
Smithville scored all three of its runs on solo homers.
“Wow!” Hamilton coach Bryan Loague said. “There were 11 home runs hit? The ball always carries well here.”
Hamilton (10-4, 3-0 division), last season’s Class 2A state champions, moved down to 1A this year. Smithville (7-6, 1-1) is the defending 1A state champion. The teams have already played three times this season with the Lions winning two.
“It’s good to win a county game that means something,” Loague said. “We know Smithville’s going to be there. They’ll bounce back.”
This was the first of two division games between the two this season.
“It’s hard to come back from giving up eight homers,” Smithville coach Jeremy Duke said. “It’s hard to defend against a home run.”
The Lady Seminoles also lost pitcher Ashtyn Hensley to a possible knee injury. She collided with first baseman Morgan Barrett on an infield fly ball in the third inning.
Raimi Bryan and Addie Thompson hit two homers each for the Lady Lions. Alison Atkins, Jordyn Jackson, Myiah Dobbs and Cheyenne Logan all had one.
Bryan hits two
Bryan, a 5-foot-1 senior outfielder, belted a two-run shot in Hamilton’s three-run second inning. She added a solo homer in the team’s six-run fourth.
The homers were her first two this season.
“I was excited; it just happened,” Bryan said. “This was a really important game and I was trying to do the best I could for my team.”
Morgan Barrett, Claire McNeese and Laken Armstrong hit Smithville’s home runs.
Hamilton’s Loague said despite his team’s early 11-1 lead, he never felt comfortable. “You have to keep trying to extend the lead every inning against a team like Smithville,” he said.