Chelsea now 1-1 in area play with win over rival Oak Mountain

Published 8:57 am Wednesday, March 22, 2023

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By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor

NORTH SHELBY – Taking on area rival Oak Mountain on Tuesday, March 21 on the road, the Chelsea Hornets erased a two-run deficit through three innings of play by scoring six unanswered the rest of the way en route to a 7-3 victory.

The Hornets scored one run in the fourth and five more in the fifth to overcome the 3-1 hole and pick up the four-run win to improve to 1-1 in area play.

Chelsea was able to start the game like it finished it by taking the lead in the top of the first. A lead-off single from Baylor McCluney followed by a sac bunt quickly put a runner on third base.

Abby Hibbs capitalized and drove home McCluney on a hard grounder to shortstop that put the Hornets in front 1-0.

Oak Mountain, however, quickly answered back with a run in the bottom half of the inning on an error from the Hornets that allowed the Eagles to even the score at 1-1.

The game went quiet during the second inning, but the Eagles got back to their offensive success in the bottom of the third with a walk from Carolyn Graham and single from Emily Mackin to lead off the inning. A sac bunt moved both into scoring position with one out before another Chelsea error allowed both to score on a hard ground ball from Elizabeth Zaleski.

Trailing 3-1, Chelsea quickly responded with a solo home run in the top of the fourth from Sydney Carroll, but the Hornets went on to leave two runners on base and still trailed by one heading to the fifth.

In the top of the fifth, however, the bats caught fire.

Chelsea put the first two runners on with a single and error before an out was recorded.

Then, the Hornets did something extremely rare with three consecutive home runs to tack on five runs.

Carroll, Claire Purkey and Morgan Brewer were the three to go back-to-back-to-back with Carool’s being a three-run bomb and the others solo shots.

That gave Chelsea a 7-3 lead, which became for Maia Harris to close the game out over the final three innings. Harris followed Carroll in the circle, who picked up the win.

Carroll pitched the first four innings and allowed two hits and three unearned runs with five strikeouts, while Harris totaled three strikeouts and gave up no runs on three hits and a walk in three innings of work.

At the plate, Carroll also had an impressive game with two hits and four total RBIs thanks to two home runs. Purkey and Brewer both finished with two hits and one RBI, while Makenna Harper quietly went 4-for-4 in the victory.

Oak Mountain was led by two hits from Mackin and one hit and two RBIs from Elizabeth Zaleski.