Hopwood/Oak Grove outlasts West Side

By Matt Wilson
STAR Correspondent

   The combined team of Hopwood/Oak Grove outlasted West Side Christian 15-12 in the opening game of a women's church league triple-header Tuesday night at the Carmen Dugger Sports Complex.
   Both squads used big first innings to get things started in this high-scoring affair.
   Hopwood/Oak Grove plated four runs in their half of the first, with the big blow coming off the bat of Tina Holdsclaw, who tripled in Mary Holt and Elaine Wash.
   West Side Christian answered with five runs of their own in the opening frame. Jerri Beth Lyons laced a single up the middle to plate Katie Holly and Bonnie Peters.
   In the second, Hopwood/Oak Grove's Elain Wash singled home Brenda Townsend and Darlene Hoilman to take back the lead for her team.
   The visitors added to that lead as once again Holdsclaw produced two more RBIs and scored a run of her own on a single by Marissa Potter.
   Hopwood/Oak Grove seemed to be in charge when West Side erupted for six runs in the bottom of the third to claim an 11-10 lead. West Side drew two walks to open the frame, then shortstop Holly brought home two runs with a solid single.
   Lyons capped off the inning with her third base knock of the night.
   Hopwood/Oak Grove regained the lead on a three-run home run from Wash and held on to win by a margin of 15-12.
   Sinking Creek 13
   Zion 10
   In Game 2 of the night, fans of big time offense were in for a treat as Sinking Creek was able to sink the ladies from Zion 13-10 in a game packed with big hits.
   Zion lit up the scoreboard first as B.J. Smith laced a single to center to send home Jackie Campbell with the game's first run.
   Christy Ingram then roped one to left to plate the slugger Smith. Pam Bailey ended the inning with a play that would occur often on the night, a putout by Sinking Creek left fielder Deanna Byers.
   Byers would collect eight putouts before the night was over.
   Sinking Creek took the lead in the first as Brenda Townsend, Byers and Robin Culler each roped solid singles off Zion starter Julie Peters to tally three runs.
   Everyone has heard the old baseball saying of "hit 'em where they ain't." Well, Zion's strategy should have been "hit 'em where Deanna Byers ain't." Byers collected two more putouts in a scoreless second for Zion.
   Sinking Creek then broke through for six runs on seven hits in the second, the most notable shot a double off the bat of Kelli Williams that cleared the bases.
   Down 9-2, the bats from Zion came alive as they batted around the order and scored seven runs of their own to tie the score at nine.
   B.J Smith collected the first two RBIs of that big inning, scoring Sheila Ruston and the smooth-fielding shortstop Jackie Campbell.
   The game then went scoreless for two frames with the score knotted at 9-9. Zion had some good cuts in those two innings, but they were pulling them down the left-field line into Byers' territory.
   Byers then showed she could beat Zion with the bat as well as she broke the tie with a towering shot to left to give Sinking Creek a lead they would not relent.
   Smith tried to rally the troops as she thumped a long home run to left in Zion's last at bat, but it was not enough as Sinking Creek held on.
   Zion 14
   Harold McCormick 0
   The nightcap turned out to be the B.J. Smith show.
   Smith donned a New York Yankees cap on the field, but she played like she could have been wearing the pinstripes of the Bronx bombers. In the Zion second, she crushed a long three-run home run to give her team all the runs they would need.
   Zion plated 10 runs in the disastrous second for Harold McCormick. McCormick threatened in the third when Cindy Grindstaff and Amy Laney each singled, but they were stranded on the basepaths by Zion pitcher Julie Peters.
   The B.J Smith show then continued as she swatted a line-drive homer to left. The former Lady Cyclone standout went 6-for-7 on the night with three home runs, two doubles, and a single.
   The onslaught was too much for McCormick to stand as the game ended 14-0.