Four inside-the-park home runs highlighted John Hardin’s 19-1 victory over host Fort Knox Monday in the first round of the 17th District Tournament.
The Lady Bulldogs didn’t waste any time scoring. Haley Wolfskill had a bases-clearning double in the first inning. Katelyn Dunn stepped to the plate and ran out an RBI triple. She later scored on a passed ball.
Passed balls would hurt Fort Knox in the second and third innings as John Hardin scored a run in each inning. Katie Miller recorded a fielder’s choice RBI in the second inning and one pitch later stole second base. Fort Knox would get out of the inning and a bases loaded jam after Mari-Beth Richards hit Miller with a line drive at third base.
The bottom of the second inning was controlled by Wolfskill as she fanned all three batters.
Lady Bulldogs’ offense came alive again in the top of the third.
Kristeen Kettelhake led off with an 0-1 triple and later scored after Lacole Knott knocked the first inside-the-park home run.
Two batters later, Miller repeated Knott and hit an inside-the-park home run and brought the John Hardin lead to 10-0. Wolfskill came up next and singled and later stole second and third base. She wasn’t done there as she turned on the wheels and stole home, extending the Lady Bulldogs lead to 11-0.
One more run would cross the plate in the third inning and a groundout would end the inning.
Wolfskill continued the dominant performance in the bottom of the fourth as she sat down the first two Eagles and the third batter grounded out.
The bats stayed hot in the top of the fifth as John Hardin added six more runs. Richards nailed a two-run inside-the-park home run in the inning. Knott concluded the scoring attack for the Lady Bulldogs as she knocked her second inside-the-park home run.
“It doesn’t mattter who we play, we’ve got to take care of business,” John Hardin coach Rocco Addesa said. “I thought the girls stayed focused. It’s easy to get unfocused, undisciplined and make bad habits when you’re playing a team that you’ve already beat twice.
“I told them, don’t underestimate any opponent.”
The Eagles scratached acrossed a run in the bottom of the fifth after a throwing error allowed Yizteimar Martinez to score from third.
Martinez was recognized as a member of the All-Tournament team.
Wolfskill closed out the game like she started with a strikeout.
She tossed a complete game, allowed one hit and fanned 11.
Fort Knox ended its season 6-12.
John Hardin will meet No. 1 seed, Central Hardin today at 5:30 p.m.
“For us to have a shot, we’re going to have to come in and play a perfect game,” Addesa said. “Haley is going to have to pitch a perfect game and we have to minimize our mistakes in all three phases.”
“All of their pitchers are amazing so I can’t describe how much we need to hit well,” Wolfskill said.
Central Hardin is entering the postseason 29-7 and undefeated in districts.
The Lady Bruins downed the Lady Bulldogs 20-0 and 16-1 earlier in the season.