Thursday, March 6, 2014
Senior pitcher Meghan Whitfield was near perfect against Saluda.
The Lady Jacket ace fired a no-hit shutout, only allowing two base runners via walks, and struck out 11 Saluda batters on her way to a win in her team’s season opener. North Augusta is currently taking part in the Palmetto Classic at Midland Valley High School, and Whitfield was backed by an explosive offense that put up 13 runs on the Tigers.
Maddie Shiver hit a grand slam and Natalie Burke had a two-run homer of her own, with nine runs coming in the top of the sixth inning. Karly Heath went 2-for-5 with a double and two RBIs, Brooke Lavallee went 3-for-4 with a double and both Grace Flanders and Haley Dunbar went 2-for-4 with an RBI each.
“Meghan pitched real good and she had great command of the strike zone,” head coach Derrick Quinn said. “That’s what I look for from her. Hitting-wise, it took us a long time to get going. Saluda did a great job pitching against us, but we have got to hit better. It’s going to catch up to us later on. We’re a much better hitting team than we showed early on.”
Though his squad bunted their way to a number of base hits, Quinn said that this year’s squad is very much a “big inning team.”
“Our leadoff hitter any inning is very important to us,” he said. “If we can get on base we can do a lot of things.”
Coming up the Jackets will play South Aiken on Wednesday at 5 p.m. They will then play again on Thursday against Silver Bluff at 5 p.m. On Friday they will play Fox Creek at 7 p.m. All games are at Midland Valley as part of the Carolina Classic, and the Jackets will also play on Saturday. If they are in the championship game they will play at 3 p.m. If they finish third or fourth they will play at 1 p.m. and if they finish fifth or sixth they will play at 11 a.m.
Scott Rodgers is the news editor at The North Augusta Star and has been with the paper since January 2013. Follow him on Twitter @NAStarRodgers.