There's an art to constructing a batting order. There's a certain amount of balance involved, putting batters together in such an order that hits can be clustered to score runs in bunches rather than one at a time. Adjustments have to be made for who's hot and who's not. Often it's a work of trial and error.
As of Friday, March 20, Bryant Lady Hornets head coach Lisa Stanfield believes she's found her team's most effective arrangement.
The first inning of her team's non-conference game against Sheridan on Friday certainly was convincing. The Lady Hornets scored six runs on six hits on their way to an 11-1 victory in five innings.
The win improved the Lady Hornets to 5-3 on the season going into spring break. They'll return to action in a tournament in Murfreesboro, Tenn., starting Thursday, March 26.
Bryant hammered out 11 hits including three by Peyton Jenkins and two each by Christen Kirchner, Jessie Taylor and Sarah Hart.
Jenkins pitched and held Sheridan to one run on four hits with four strikeouts and two walks.
Jenna Bruick started the productive first frame with a walk. Kayla Sory sacrificed her to second then Cassidy Wilson blasted a two-run homer.
Jenkins got things revved up again with a double. She scored a pitch later on a single by Kirchner. And when Taylor's hit to right was misplayed, Kirchner scored to make it 4-0. Consecutive singles by Kim Wilson and Sarah Hart brought Taylor around and, after Paige Turpin walked to load the bases, Bruick drew a walk to force in the sixth run.
Jenkins had worked around a one-out double by Hannah Hicks in the top of the first. In the second, a one-out single by Jordan Jones set up the lone Lady Jackets' run. She advanced on a wild pitch, took third on a passed ball and, after Amber Weigand drew a two-out walk, scored on the front end of a double steal.
The Lady Hornets added to their total in the third. Hart singled, Turpin drew another walk and a run scored when Bruick reached on a fielder's choice. Sory's drive to right was misplayed, allowing two runs to score then, with two down, Jenkins beat out a bunt single to drive in Sory, making it 10-1.
Sheridan threatened to score in the top of the fourth when Carly Greer walked and took second on a passed ball. With one out, Jones reached on an error as Greer took third. Jenkins struck out Kelsey Jones but Weigand singled up the middle only to have the Lady Hornets work the relay from Turpin to Jenkins to Hart at the plate for the final out of the inning.
In the top of the fifth, a pair of two-out singles had another threat going for Sheridan but Hart picked off the runner at first to end the inning.
In turn, the Lady Hornets made it a run-rule win when Cassidy Wilson reached on an error, Jenkins singled and Kirchner drove in the final run with a double.