It wasn't that Hampton played a bad softball game, it was just the fact that the Lady Cyclones of Elizabethton had their bats sizzling and the Lady 'Dogs just couldn't seem to find an extinguisher to put out the blaze.
Riding 13 hits, including home run number 10 of the season for Erin Kiser, the Lady Cyclones topped the Lady 'Dogs in five innings of varsity play Wednesday afternoon behind the no-hit pitching of freshmen Lindsey Cunningham in a 11-0 final.
After opening up with a three up, three down top of the first, Elizabethton jumped out front 1-0 in the bottom of the inning on Kiser's bomb that hit the light pole outside the left field fence for the round tripper.
Reazyn DeMoss doubled and Caley Hodge singled, but the Lady 'Dogs defense reached down to strand the two Lady Cyclone runners.
Hampton's Whitney Carden worked Cunningham for a walk in the top of the second but was left standing at first base as the 'Dogs couldn't muster the need hits to bring Carden around.
The Lady Cyclones threw two more on the board in the bottom of the frame with two outs.
A base on balls to Lydia Carr came back to torment Hampton as Kelsey Simmons hit a ball that looked like the sure third out of the inning, but Lady 'Dog third baseman Jessica Burleson threw the ball away allowing Carr to score and Elizabethton's version of Speedy Gonzales in Simmons touched all the bags as well for the 3-0 lead.
Cunningham was sailing along behind the early runs as once again the Lady Cyclone freshman twirled her magic in setting the Lady 'Dogs down again in the third allowing only a walk to Taylor Berry.
The Lady Cyclones continued to back their pitcher offensively in the bottom of the inning scoring three more runs.
Kiser and DeMoss collected back-to-back singles with another freshman and Cunningham's battery mate, Caley Hodge, ripping a RBI single to score Kiser.
Logan White continued the hit parade with the fourth straight single of the inning to score DeMoss. The final run scored when Carr hit into a fielder's choice that plated White.
A Cyclone error on DeMoss at second allowed Jessica Sloan to reach from the leadoff slot, but the DeMoss made amends for the error by making a great stab and toss to shortstop Kristen Powell who relayed over to first for a 4-6-3 double play.
Carden worked her second walk of the contest but once again was left out to dry as Hampton couldn't manage to get a stick on the ball.
Elizabethton put a stamp on the win by crossing the plate five times.
With one out, Powell singled as did Kiser for her third hit of the contest. Both runners advanced on a double steal and DeMoss drew a walk to juice the bases.
A 6-3 sacrifice by Hodge scored Powell. White then followed by taking a shoestring-high offering to left field for a single that allowed DeMoss and courtesy runner Emily Dugger to race home.
Amanda Schultz then zipped a double to the fence to score White. Harley McMillan came in to pinch run for Schultz, but wasn't on the base path long as Carr blooped a single over first base that allowed McMillan to race home for the final run of the contest.
Cunningham worked a quick one-two-three top of the fifth to bring an end to the contest with the 10-run rule in effect.
"My change-up and screwball were getting me a lot of inside strikes," said Cunningham who ran her varsity record to 3-1 on the season.
Cunningham added there was a lot of difference in pitching at the high school level versus the middle school level.
"High school is a lot different and a lot harder because the hitters are a lot better," added Cunningham. "You can't throw the ball down the middle because the hitters are much better."
Coach Ken Hardin continues to be pleased with the way the sticks are being swung by his club.
"I hope that we continue because we have a big game at East today, and they are very tough," stated Hardin. "Our hitters have a good approach to the plate.
"Molly (Crabtree) pitched a good game today. Even the pitch on the home run was a great pitch on Erin's shoe top that she just went down and got a hold of. Good hitters just hit good pitchers."
On the flip side of the coin, Hampton coach Jeff Bradley was not coming into the game disillusioned.
"We've been playing well as of late and been hitting the ball real well," added Bradley. "Elizabethton is an outstanding team that flat out kills the ball.
"I told the girls coming in that I didn't come in with any expectations of winning, but I just wanted us to continue to improve on our hitting and fielding. We played well, there was just a couple of times where we lost focus.
"It was just hard for us to get back into the flow of the game. Against a good team, if you make an error or two here and there it will kill you.
Elizabethton ran their overall record to 13-5 while Hampton fell to 6-3.
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HHS 000 00 -- 0 0 2
EHS 123 5x -- 11 13 1
Crabtree and Guinn, Burleson (3). Cunningham and Hodge.