WATSON – Live Oak completed a perfect run through their own weekend tournament with a 11-0 six-inning mercy ruling of St. Michael The Archangel Saturday afternoon.
Emalea Dimaio shined bright for Live Oak, pitching all six innings, allowing just a single hit and struck out four. She didn’t overpower the opposition, but instead kept them off balance and induced weak contact.
St. Michael’s only hit of the game came on a misread from a Live Oak outfielder that led to a two-out triple in the fourth inning.
“I felt great about (my performance),” Dimaio said. “Our team really came out here and we all put our best on the ball when we needed to.”
Live Oak coach Michelle Morris praised her team’s offense alleviating pressure off the team’s pitching.
“Hitting led the way,” she said. “We feel like if we’re going to take control of any game it’s going to be with our hitting, which I think gave a cushion to our pitchers. Our pitchers really came through this weekend. It felt like from the very first inning that she had them and it put them into a come from behind feeling, which made us more confident in our hitting.”
Live Oak got started early, scoring two runs off a leadoff double from Shaun Leiva and an error to put Emma Hunt on. Katie Van Der Mark singled Leiva home before Emma Brooks hit a sacrifice fly to plate Hunt.
Dimaio contributed to her own cause in the second inning when she hit a line drive into the gap. The St. Michael’s outfielders both misjudged the flight of the ball, allowing it to roll to the wall, allowing Dimaio to score an inside-the-park home run.
“When I was running the bases, my thought process was ‘just get to the next base’,” Dimaio said. “As I proceeded along the bases, I saw that they weren’t going to get it and so I went all the way.”
After a two out walk, Brett Leiva hit another home run, this one of the traditional variety – over the fence – for a 5-0 lead.
Live Oak exploded for six runs on five hits and an error to take an 11-0 lead and bring the mercy rule into effect. Five of the sixth runs were scored on three consecutive hits from Brett
Leiva, Van Der Mar, and Jenae Adams.
“In the sixth inning we realized that we really had this,” Dimaio said. “And we just went all out and hit everything we could.”
Live Oak also registered a 13-5 victory Friday over Jewel Sumner and 12-4 win earlier on Saturday against False River. The Eagles hope that the performance in their tournament can spark a turnaround from an uncharacteristically slow start.
“It’s a superb weekend,” Morris said. “I think we need to take this into our district play and use that confidence and that solid hitting.”
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