Lady Junior Cyclones blast Ross Robinson

By Marvin Birchfield

   Nothing could be more enjoyable than to dominate in all phases of the game, and it's even more satisfying when you overwhelm a conference opponent at the start of the season.
   The T.A. Dugger girls softball team blanked Ross Robinson on Tuesday in a double-header, as the first game ended in a lop-sided 15-0 final and the second contest in a rout of 17-0.
   "I told them if they keep working hard and take each game by game, then we have a very good shot at winning our conference -- especially with our pitching," said T.A. Dugger softball coach Crystal VanHuss. "If we keep on hitting the ball and playing solid defense, then we should be pretty good this season."
   It was like a night-and-day difference in the talent between the two teams, as TAD ended each contest in a three-inning period.
   The Cyclones gave up just one hit in the two games combined, which came off a very close throw from third base to first.
   In the first contest, Sara Smith headed to the mound, where she saw the Indians go three up and three down.
   "We've had a few good weeks of practice, and we have really good pitchers who worked hard in the off-season, so that's why they look the way they do," said VanHuss. "We have a solid defense, and actually, for our first game, we swung the bat really well."
   T.A. Dugger had six runs to cross the plate, with Madison McKinney scoring the last one.
   The Cyclones added four more scores, with Smith crossing the plate off a hit from Leah Henson.
   The scoring onslaught never let up, as the Jr. Cyclones produced five more runs to end the game after the third inning.
   It was even less pleasant for Ross Robinson in the second meeting, after the Jr. Cyclones started by scoring 11 runs in the top of the first.
   The first run came off a ground-hit from Taylor Bellessa, driving in Kayla Jones.
   Two more runs crossed the plate after Janey Robinson smacked a grounder, as the Jr. Cyclones produced six hits in the first inning.
   The Jr. Cyclones also did a good job at running the bases, with several runners making their way home on steals.
   "They were alert on the bases and listening, so they were just heads up this game," said VanHuss.
   Bellessa almost threw a perfect game during the matchup as the Indians had trouble in keeping up with the speed of her pitches.
   Six of nine batters were retired on strikeouts, and the only hit came in the bottom of the second, when Rebecca Helton barely made it to first base on a throw from third.
   The Indian success for reaching the bases didn't last long though, because on the next pitch Helton was gunned down by catcher Jasmine Treadway. with Jones making the tag on the steal.
   T.A. Dugger added one run in the second frame on an infield hit from Kelli Culler, who brought home Rebecca Marrow.
   "I'm really excited. We have a great mixture of seventh and eighth graders, so that's why I got everybody into play today. And everybody, all the way around, can play about anywhere," said VanHuss.
   Five runs crossed in the final inning, as Jones led off the frame with a triple, which turned into an infield homer after a couple of throws from the Indians were off the mark.
   Back-to-back doubles were produced by Treadway and Robinson, and the last run scored when a ground-out from Mariah Pietrowski brought home Robinson.
   Mariah Pietrowski drove in the last one with a ground out, scoring Robinson.
   "We play Church Hill Thursday, and six straight weeks of Tuesday and Thursday games, so they're looking pretty good and hope they stay like this," said VanHuss.