Riley Blevins of Fairbanks makes contact with the ball in the bottom of the third inning against Grandview Heights Thursday. Blevins went 3-3 and tallied two RBIs during the Lady Panthers 20-2 victory.
(Journal-Tribune photo by Sam Dillon)
The Lady Panthers of Fairbanks softball team got the early drop on the Grandview Heights pitching.
They turned that early knowledge into nine runs by the end of the first inning.
FHS kept up the attack and downed the Bobcats, 20-2.
Jayda Rausch led off for the Lady Panthers and turned a deep hit to right field into a double to get the offense started.
Ciera Madison laid down a sacrifice bunt to advance the runner. Gracie Pyers put a ball up the middle to drive in the Panthers’ opening run.
Allison Kise laid down a solid ground ball that Grandview’s third basemen scooped. The fielder opted to make the play at third for the second out of the inning.
Anna Higbee laced a liner to centerfield for what should have been the third out.
Grandview, though, had trouble with catch, which allowed the inning to continue. Gracie Pyers was given a free pass to load the bases.
Mack Greene hit a shot to the hot corner, but solid base running by the Panthers left all runners safe and another run tallied.
The FHS bats found clean hits and kept the runs pouring.
Riley Blevins knocked in two with a single. April Ward hit a ball to the fence for a triple and two RBIs.
The top of the order returned to the plate.
Rausch put down a single for another RBI to give Fairbanks a 7-0 lead.
The Lady Panthers picked up two more runs to take a commanding 9-0 lead by the end of the first inning.
Fairbanks head coach Amy Sines said her Panthers have been seeing the ball well, but weren’t expecting that kind of offense.
“They hit well tonight,” she said. “We had some good deep hits and were able to execute on runs.
“I wasn’t sure how good of a team they (Grandview) are,” said Sines. “I know they are not always a top-notch team, but usually they have some good athletes. You never know what you are going to see.”
The Panthers handled their defensive business quickly, starting inside the circle. Ward got the call to start the game and put down Grandview in order in the first inning.
She followed up in the second with a solid performance.
The Lady Panthers continued their offense and tallied four more runs off of a handful of hits.
Ward laced the ball in the outfield grass for a RBI, while Rausch poked a triple to the fence for two RBIs.
FHS held a 13-0 lead at the end of the second frame.
Sines said the team’s plan has been simple.
“Our strategy is to score a lot of runs and play good defense,” she said. “We know that teams are going to score runs against us, but we just have to play good defense and try to slow them down.”
Ward gave up her first run to the Bobcats in the third inning as Grandview put together three hits.
Fairbanks answered with four runs by the end of the third to take a 17-1 advantage.
Sines called Julia Cheney to the circle in the fourth.
She yielded two hits before FHS’ bombing bats picked up their final seven runs.
The Bobcats tallied one run off of Cheney in the top of the fifth.
The Lady Panthers (4-5) are scheduled to will host Ohio Heritage Conference foe West Liberty today.
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