Helena upsets Chelsea to stay unbeaten in area play

Published 2:04 pm Wednesday, April 12, 2017

By GRAHAM BROOKS / Staff Writer

CHELSEA–After defeating Pelham 7-0 in the first area game of the season a few weeks ago, the Helena Huskies softball team had a big matchup with the Chelsea Hornets on April 6, in another pivotal area game.

Chelsea came into the game with a slight edge in the rankings over the Huskies. The Hornets sat at No. 3 in the latest ASWA rankings and Helena came in at No. 7.

Despite being the underdog on the road, Helena outplayed Chelsea and collected 17 hits in an impressive 8-3 win.

Helena struck first in the top of the first inning with a two-out rally. With two outs and no runners on base, Grace Robertson and Katie Lively hit back-to-back singles and then a walk issued by Chelsea pitcher Sarah Cespedes loaded the bases. Robertson then scored from third on a passed ball and the Huskies took a 1-0 lead.

Chelsea would respond to take the lead in the bottom of the first inning after taking advantage of a lead off double. Later in the inning, Allie Miller would single to score Ingram Holt to tie the game. The Hornets then took a 2-1 lead after a Helena error.

The score remained 2-1 until the top of the third inning when a couple of extra-base hits helped Helena regain the lead.

Robertson started the inning with a one-out triple and Lively drove her in with an RBI single to tie the game 2-2. Mackenzie Wilson then singled to put runners at first and second. With two outs, Tori White hit a two-RBI double to score Lively and Wilson to give the Huskies a 4-2 lead. Another RBI single made it 5-2 Helena.

The Huskies added another run in the top of the fifth inning on an RBI single by Chaney Handley and then collected two more runs in the top of the seventh to secure the 8-3 win.

After a shaky start to the game giving up two runs in the first inning, Helena starting pitcher Avery Barnett settled in and threw a complete 117-pitch game. Barnett walked none and struck out five Hornet batters.

As a team, the Huskies collected at least one hit in each inning and seven Huskies recorded multi-hit games. White and Lively both finished with two RBIs apiece.

With the win, Helena improved to 2-0 in area play.