MELISSA – In a mismatch for the ages, Melissa’s Lady Cardinals dispatched Gainesville, 23-0, in two at-bats on March 11 thanks to the merciful run rule employed by District 11-4A. Only five Lady Cards hits were recorded in this district-opener but three went for extra bases and Gainesville pitchers walked 10 and put 12 more on base via hit batsmen. Twelve Melissa runs in the first inning and 11 in second told the tale.
District rules state that if a team is ahead by 15 runs or more after three innings, the game is over. Being up by 10 after five is a game-ender as well. “It’s tough,” Lady Cards head coach Eric Rodgers said of these types of contests. “As a coach, it’s like, ‘We’ve got to get our runs, we’ve got to get 15, so we can get out of here. Fifteen sounds like a lot but it’s the fastest way to get the game over with and make sure nobody gets hurt. We did give up a couple of outs just by leaving the bases early because we’d been hit at the plate so many times. At that point, I’m just trying to protect the girls. … It’s good to be 1-0.”
Macy Stewart swatted a triple for Melissa (16-1-2) while Alexis Pevehouse and Audrey Solomon each ripped doubles. The trio led the team with 5 RBIs each. Pevehouse also worked one inning in the pitcher’s circle, allowing no hits with three-straight strikeouts. Bryton Wright came on for the second and third frames and logged five Ks with no hits. Not a single Lady Leopard reached base, as neither Pevehouse nor Wright walked or hit a batter and Melissa suffered no errors. “And we didn’t throw a whole lot of pitches,” Rodgers said. “We just threw a lot of fastballs - again, to get it over with.
Pevehouse’s two-bagger to center field came with the bases loaded in the first inning and it plated Melissa’s first three runs. After a pair of walks, Stewart sent her triple to deep center and the Lady Cards led, 6-0. Pevehouse’s second double of the frame made it 10-0. From there, two Melissa singles combined with multiple Gainesville miscues to get to 23.
“I’m proud of the Lady Leopards,” Rodgers said. “They’re showing up, they’re trying, they’re playing hard. That’s all you can ask.”
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
Gainesville 0 0 0 X X X X 0 0 2
Melissa 12 11 X X X X X 23 5 0