Leader Blues

Friday, March 19, 2010

SPORTS >> Jacksonville suffers league setback

Jacksonville catcher Alexis Oakley goes for a bunt against Mountain Home.

By JASON KING

Leader sportswriter

All it took for Mountain Home to claim a sweep over Jacksonville on Thursday was two bad innings by the Lady Red Devils at Dupree Park.

That’s one for each game.

The Lady Devils got off to a rough start in Game 1 and never recovered in Mountain Home’s 12-1 victory. They shook off the defeat with a strong start in the second game of the 6A-East Conference doubleheader, and even claimed a brief 1-0 lead, before the Lady Bombers lowered the boom in the top of the fifth inning.

Mountain Home scored seven runs in the fifth to get its second run-ruled victory, 11-1.

The Lady Bombers scored seven runs in the bottom of the first inning in Game 1 and never looked back, adding runs in each of the final three innings.

Jacksonville’s sibling sophomore pitchers Alexis and Whitney House traded time in the circle in both games. Alexis House ran into a stout Mountain Home lineup in the bottom of the first in Game 1 and was relieved by Whitney.

Whitney House closed the first game while Alexis House returned to start Game 2.

She held the Lady Bombers scoreless for the first two innings, but Mountain Home scored three runs off three hits in the top of the third before going on a six-hit, seven-run spree in the top of the fifth.

Fielding errors also played a role in Jacksonville’s fifth-inning woes. Mountain Home scored its first run on an outfield error that allowed Alex Osmun to circle the bases.

The second miscue was an infield error that scored another run, and an error at third later gave the Lady Bombers loaded bases with no outs.

The dominant pitching of Mountain Home starter Shelby Anderson also made hitting difficult for Jacksonville. Anderson’s presence on the mound was authoritative, as she held the Lady Red Devils to only one hit for both games.

Senior second baseman Jennifer Bock got the only hit of the night for Jacksonville with a bloop to left field in the top of the third inning in Game 1.

But that came after Anderson had already struck out two Lady Red Devil batters, and an infield fly by junior catcher Alexis Oakley left Bock on the bases.

Bock scored the only Game 1 run for Jacksonville when she led off the game by reaching on an error in left field.

The error allowed Bock to reach third, and she tagged up and scored two batters later when junior shortstop Chyna Davis popped up to right.

Junior right fielder Riley Zinc scored the Lady Devils’ only run of the second game in the bottom of the second inning when she reached on an error at first and scored later on a passed ball.

Mountain Home answered quickly in the top of the third. Jenna Gilbert reached on an error and advanced on Anderson’s double, and Ashley Brison loaded the bases with a single.

Miranda Manchester drove in the first two runs with a single to left-center, and courtesy runner Michala Shrable tagged up moments later to plate the third run.

The Lady Red Devils will take the week off for spring break and will return to action next weekend in the annual invitational tournament at Harrison.