HOLDEN -- “Adjustments” was the buzzword for both Holden and Maurepas in their early-season District 7-B showdown at Holden on Thursday afternoon.
The Lady Rockets made them, in the field and at the plate, after a sluggish start to pull away in the final innings for an 11-0 five-inning victory.
Holden (6-3, 2-0 in District 7-B) broke through with two runs in the third, then busted it open with seven runs in the fourth.
Emma Hutchinson and Ashley Fogg both had two-run home runs, while Olivia Lackie tacked on a pair of two-run hits over the final three innings.
“We definitely came out a little sluggish,” Holden coach Linzey Cifreo said. “We did a lot of lot of silly things and we weren't able to make adjustments early at the plate. I was kind of worried for a second, but they kind of got locked in. It took a lot longer than I wanted it to, but once they got rolling, they got rolling. They made the adjustments they needed to against their pitcher. She's good, and we knew coming in she was going to try to jam us inside and we had a lot of weak ground balls. That was something we have been working on, trying to stay inside that pitch, and it was very rewarding today to see it kind of pay off later in the game.”
Lackie also made adjustments in the circle. After allowing five of the first 13 batters she faced to reach base, she came back to retire the final seven, striking out four.
“Their hitters were making some good adjustments at the plate,” Cifreo said. “They had a few hits fall in, but our defense stepped up and made a few plays. She kind of figured out a few things on the mound. She started throwing a little bit harder toward the end of the game. She's a competitor and she's going to make her adjustments she needs to make. I never have to worry about her mentally not being in there.”
Holden broke the stalemate in the third after Kacey Breithaupt led off with a single through the right side. Olivia Barnes reached on an error and Fogg walked to load the bases. Breithaupt was caught in a rundown and tagged out at home, and Maurepas starter McKenna Lessard struck out Gracie Duffy, but Lackie lined a single to deep center, scoring Barnes and Fogg to put the Lady Rockets up 2-0.
“It was definitely a slow start those first three innings,” Lackie said. “We knew what we were facing coming into the game. We definitely made good adjustments against McKeena and we got some good hits.”
Taylor Douglas opened the fourth with a single to right and came around to score when Keegan Marchand's pick-off attempt deflected off Dru' Bantaa and into foul territory. Lessard got the next two batters but Breithaupt kept the innings alive with a walk.
After Barnes doubled to left and Fogg walked, Duffy delivered a two-run double to right. Lackie brought in two more runs when Laney Gunter couldn't come up with her sinking liner to right. Hutchinson then capped the seven-run frame with a two-run shot over the left-field fence, extending the Holden lead to 9-0.
“It was a change-up,” Hutchinson said of the pitch. “I had struck out in my other two at-bats, but I was looking to get a hard hit, something we needed to get us going and get our bats going. We were working on it before the game. We knew what we were coming in to face and so we were just trying to adjust. It just took so long, but we got there, and I'm glad we did.”
Fogg ended the game in the fifth via the run rule with a two-out shot over the center field fence after Kamrynn Ouber led off with a single to right.
“We came into this wanting to run-rule them because they are our competition every year,” Fogg said. “We we worked hard on it, and that's what our mindset was.”
Maurepas (1-4, 0-1) threatened in the first inning when Gautreau was hit by a pitch and Marchand singled to right with two outs before Lackie struck out KK Vicknair.
Sarah Crawford and Gunter drew two-out walks in the Maurepas second before Lackie came back to strike out Denae Clark.
Marchand doubled with two outs in the third, but Lackie escaped again by getting Vicknair to ground out to second.
“For the first couple of innings, we were making our adjustments that we needed to do against Olivia Lackie,” Maurepas coach Shaunte' Kraft said. “We were trying to get some runners on base, but unfortunately we couldn't get a bunt down or get that key hit to get the runner over or to bring a run in. They got us today. A lot of things went their way today as far as good hits in opportune times, and that was what we were lacking -- those key hits when it counted with runners on base.”
Lackie allowed two hits while striking out 10.
Cifreo said while she was glad to move to 2-0 in district, she knows her team will have to begins games quicker in order to have success the remainder of the season.
“Going later into the season,we have to make those adjustments early, or it's going to bite us in the butt,” Cifreo said. “Fortunately, it didn't, but we have to learn from it and we have to get better, from the first pitch of the game to the last pitch of the game.”