MINFORD — Anytime you score seven runs with two capable pitchers in the circle, you’re going to have a chance to win a ballgame.
But when Miami Trace is hitting like it was Tuesday night, those chances significantly decline.
The Panthers (3-0) slugged out nine hits, five for extra bases, to beat Minford in a non-conference contest. Miami Trace hit three home runs, accounting for seven total runs.
“There’s 10 seniors on that team. That’s a good team. They hit,” Minford coach Art Doll said. “We had a couple of errors that we shouldn’t have had but that wasn’t going to affect the outcome. It came down to sticks and pitching. We’ve got good pitching. But tonight, it just didn’t fall our way.”
Miami Trace’s pesky lineup, one through nine, struck out just three times while constantly putting the ball in play and keeping Minford’s defense on its heels. Senior catcher Jessica Camp hit a first inning home run and followed it up with a two-run bomb in the third to lead the charge.
“We played [Minford] during my sophomore year and we knew they had a good pitching staff,” Camp said. “We were prepared for that. At the plate, I just tried to stay confident with my swing, stay patient and wait for my pitch.”
After the Falcons (4-3) chose to intentionally walk Camp in the fourth, loading the bases, Miami Trace’s Ashley Campbell teed off on the next pitch she saw, extending the lead to 9-2.
However, Minford didn’t hang their heads. Instead, the Falcons chose to fight back.
In the bottom half of the fourth, Madi Sifford launched a solo home run over the left field fence before Tamara Burchett lined a two-run double into outfield grass. In between those two hits were two additional runs as Minford cut a five-run lead to 9-7 heading into the sixth.
“The main thing for us is fighting back, which we did tonight, and pitch selection,” Doll said. “They’re learning. A lot of them are taking full counts and I think you saw that tonight. So that’s where we’re at. We’re getting better everyday.”
Unfortunately for the Falcons, Miami Trace’s Olivia Wolfe mowed down the last six hitters she faced in order to seal the deal.
Wolfe got the win in the circle, throwing all seven innings while allowing 12 hits and striking out nine. Minford’s Hannah Tolle took the loss, throwing four innings and surrendering five hits.
At the plate for Miami Trace, Camp was 3-for-4 with two homers and three RBIs while Campbell finished 2-for-4 with a double, a home run and four RBIs.
For the Falcons, Tolle went 2-for-4 with a home run and two RBIs, Burchett was 2-for-4 with two doubles and two RBIs, Maddie Slusher was 2-for-3 with a double, and Brittani Wolfenbarker finished 2-for-3 with a run and a walk.
The Falcons get back to action Wednesday night at Valley before traveling to Northwest on Friday.
“This is building. This is to get us ready for the tournament, and the girls know that,” Doll said. “We’re not looking for a great record right now, we’re looking towards building for the tournament. We’re shifting some things around right now and learning about ourselves.”