Eagles down rival Jaguars in pitchers’ duel
By JORDON SEMIEN/For the Reporter
NORTH SHELBY — In their last game before competing in the upcoming Vestavia Hills softball tournament, the Oak Mountain Eagles played host to close rival Spain Park Jaguars. Both teams put on pitching clinics, but the Eagles came away with the 4-1 win in seven innings.
Both teams looked to their aces to get another early season win, as Spain Park sent senior starter Julie Knight to the mound to face off with Oak Mountain’s own senior star, Katherine Kimble.
Kimble struck first in the first frame with a quick three up, three down inning. Knight countered by pitching her way out of a bases loaded jam with an impressive double play at third to end the inning.
The Jags put the first run of the night on the board in the bottom of the second off a Mary Kathryn Bonamy leadoff home run to deep left. Kimble rebounded to retire the side and leave the early Spain Park lead at 1-0.
The Eagle offense came to their pitcher’s aid with a two-run inning from Anna Galloway’s RBI single, and an RBI double from shortstop Madeline Porter for a 2-1 lead.
The one duel raged on as the sun set over the diamond, until Eagles sophomore Ashlee Sanders broke the stalemate with an RBI single for a 3-1 lead. The Eagles added another run in the bottom of the sixth to close out the night in a 4-1 win.
Kimble brought in two strikeouts and an ERA of 1.29 in seven innings of work, while Knight took the loss in six innings, totaling a strikeout and an ERA of 3 even.
After the win, Oak Mountain head coach Kelli Eubanks said she was impressed by her team’s play from the very start of the game.
“They worked hard, they came out and they were ready to play from the first pitch,” she said. “I think that was key. We played well, we hit well, and played good defense behind our pitcher.”
The Eagles and Jaguars will be back in action over the weekend as they both compete in tournament play. The Eagles will play in this year’s Vestavia Hills Tournament, beginning Mar. 15, while the Jags compete in the Pititz Tournament on Friday, Mar. 14.