ELIZABETHTOWN — West Bladen catcher Alanna Ludlum put the exclamation mark on a 15-0 win over East Bladen on Tuesday with a grand slam and Sophia Singletary scattered three hits over three innings to earn the Four County Conference win from the circle.
The Lady Knights opened the game with a six-run first inning, sending 12 hitters to the plate and rapping out eight hits along the way.
Kassidy Anderson and Logan Autry led off with singles and, after a fielder’s choice by Ludlum, Laikyn Pait laced an RBI single and Carley Dawson followed with a two-run single for a 3-0 lead. After a single by Singletary, Conner Brisson muscled an RBI double to left-center and Jenna Dove followed with an RBI single to extend the lead to 5-0.
Kyle Reed then ripped a run-scoring single that closed out the first-inning onslaught with West Bladen up, 6-0.
After the Lady Eagles went down in order in the home half of the first, West Bladen went to work again.
The Lady Knibghts exploded for nine runs in the top of the second inning, sending 13 hitters to the plate and using five hits, three walks and two East Bladen errors to push the advantage to 15-0.
Ludlum led off the inning with a walk, moved to second on a throwing error and on to third on a wild pitch. Pait then launched an RBI double to left-center and, after Dawson reached on an error, Singletary and Brisson each smacked run-scoring singles.
A single by Dove loaded the bases and Reed worked a walk to push another run home. After the first out of the inning, Autry walked to push home a run and, moments later, Ludlum blasted the home run that bounced off the top of the right-center fence and cleared the bases for a 15-0 lead.
The Lady Eagles put together a threat in the bottom of the second when Emily Scott led off with a single and, after an out, Izzy Smith walked and Majesti Corbett singled to load the bases. But Singletary got a strikeout and ground ball to cut off the uprising.
West Bladen emptied its bench in the third inning and, aside from a single by Anna Moser, went quietly in the inning.
East Bladen also went down quietly in the bottom of the third, save for a single by Kaley Smith, and the game was called.
“We did a good job at the plate, especially hitting the ball the other way,” said West Bladen coach Joey Autry. “We played good defensively and Sophia pounded the strike zone.”
Singletary earned the win with three innings of work and giving up three hits, one walk and striking out four.
At the plate, Brisson was 2-for-2 with a double and two RBI; Dove was 2-for-2 with an RBI; Pait was 2-for-3 with two RBI and a stolen base; Singletary was 2-for-3 with an RBI; Reed was 1-for-1 with two RBI; Ludlum was 1-for-2 with the grand slam; Autry was 1-for-2 with an RBI; Moser was 1-for-1; Dawson was 1-for-2 with a double and two RBI.
“They have a good, solid team,” said East Bladen coach Patty Evers. “And they can hit. I feel sure they will go deep in the playoffs.”
Kaley Smith took the loss in the circle for the Lady Eagles, going three innings and giving up 14 hits, three walks and striking out one.
At the plate, Emily Smith, Kaley Smith and Corbett had the only hits — all singles.
W. Curt Vincent can be reached by calling 910-862-4163.