Greenwood softball coach Ronnie Sockey wanted to see his club start strong Wednesday.
Sockey’s wish was granted, as the Lady Bulldogs scored five runs in each of the first two innings of the 7A/6A-Central game against Northside en route to a 13-3 run-rule win.
"We didn’t hit very good (Tuesday) and we hadn’t played in a while, that was just our second game in two weeks," Sockey said. "We’ve been off for a while and we were a little rusty (Tuesday) and then we came out and talked (Wednesday) that we just had to come out and hit, and that was the difference."
The first two hitters in Greenwood’s batting order, Sydnie Henson and Mikayleigh Davis, combined to go 5-for-6 with four RBIs. Henson, the lead-off batter, went 3-for-3 with two doubles and a solo home run in the third.
"Sydnie with two doubles and a line-drive home run, she set the tone for us there in the lead-off spot," Sockey said. "Great base-running out of her and she got some big hits when we got some people on, but the only thing that concerned me a little bit was our defense. … We came out a little bit more focused and ready and it showed at the plate."
Greenwood’s five-run first was highlighted by a three-run homer by Devyn Gregory over the wall in center. Gregory’s shot made it 5-0. Then in the second, the Lady Bulldogs (20-9, 10-2) added five more runs on six hits — four of those doubles — in building a 10-0 advantage.
Northside (9-9, 6-6) was able to score three runs in the top of the third. But Henson’s solo homer, which went down the left-field line in the bottom of the third, swung momentum back to the Lady Bulldogs.
"I just don’t think that we utilized our bats as well as they did, they’ve got a good hitting ball team and we got our bats moving a little bit but just not as good as theirs and to win games, you have to move bats," Northside coach Kelly Crane said. "They’ve got a good pitcher, so it took us a few innings for us to get our timing down and once we did, we were able to get four or five good hits off of her."
Lady Bulldog pitcher Victoria Taylor allowed three unearned runs on eight hits over five innings. She recorded six strikeouts, the last two coming after Northside loaded the bases with one out in the fifth.
Along with Henson, Sydney Parker also went 3-for-3 for Greenwood and drove in runs with each of her hits. She had an RBI single in the first and had RBI doubles in the second and fourth innings.