Bats come alive as HPCA rolls, 13-3

Apr. 08, 2014 @ 10:28 PM

Four runs in each of the first two innings staked High Point Christian Academy to an early 8-0 lead, and the Cougars’ offensive explosion culminated in a 13-3 win Tuesday over Calvary Baptist Day School in five innings.

Sydney Harris, the Cougars’ senior leadoff hitter, reached base in both of her first two at-bats, setting the table for each of the four-run innings in the first and second. The ensuing havoc she wreaked on the basepaths, aided by a handful of Calvary errors, helped to jumpstart the home team.

“Usually, we hit the ball pretty well and are fundamentally sound,” High Point Christian coach Jeremy Cecil said. “What we have to do is mature as a team and play at a certain level all the time. Right now, we’re just discovering our identity of who we are. They’ve got to be able to find a killer instinct and play at a high level.”

Sloane McPeak, Ashlyn Kennedy and Breanna Hutcherson each appeared in the circle for HPCA. None of the three appeared to have time to settle in entirely, battling a few minor control issues and the occasional defensive miscue, but pitched well enough collectively to comfortably secure the win.

Most of that had to do with a powerful offense led by Maddie Faulkner, who went 2 for 4 with three RBIs, including a two-run double in the four-run second to help break the game open for HPCA.

“I just did my best to pick my team up,” Faulkner said. “Our offense picks up pretty well and we come in fired up, ready to hit. If we’re not doing well in the field, we know our bats have to make up for it.”

As for the few pitching hiccups, most of the four walks issued by the Cougars can be explained by the fact they were throwing a seventh-grader against high school competition. Hutcherson is making the daunting adjustment to playing varsity ball as a middle-schooler.

“Today, we tried to mix it up and give everybody a lot of playing time to get everybody ready for the home stretch,” Cecil said.

High Point Christian (12-0) will host Hickory Grove Christian Academy on Friday night, while Calvary Baptist (1-3) travels to Mount Tabor on Monday.