5/11/2018 9:46:00 PM SECTIONAL CHAMPS Ironladies hit four home runs, including two grand slams in 19-0 win over Vinton County
Jordan Banks receives congratulations from Jackson head coach Shane Wolford after hitting a two-run home run in the first inning against Vinton County on Wednesday afternoon. (Photo By Red Thompson, Jr.)
JACKSON - The top-seeded Jackson Ironladies softball team defeated Vinton County 19-0 in five innings during the Division II sectional final on Wednesday afternoon at home.
The Ironladies had offensive explosions in the first and third innings to run away with the contest.
The win brings Jackson's record to 19-3 on the season, while Vinton County finishes with a 12-9 record. The Ironladies now advance to the district semifinal to take on New Lexington Tuesday, May 12 at Ohio University in Athens in a 5 p.m. start.
The Ironladies hit four home runs for the game, as Raylene Hammond hit a pair of grand-slam home runs in the third inning, tying the state record for the most grand slams in a single game, set by Sierra Lawrence of Yellow Springs in 2014. For the game, she led the Ironladies at the plate, finishing 3-for-4 with nine RBI on the day.
Hammond now has a team-leading 16 home runs on the season.
In addition, Jordan Banks hit a two-run home run in the first inning, as she went 2-for-4 on the day with two runs scored and two RBI.
Haley Patterson, who went 3-for-3, hit a two-run home run in the third inning and finished with three runs scored and two RBI for the Ironladies.
Taylor Evans picked up the win in the circle for Jackson, as she pitched five innings and gave up just two hits. She finished with eight strikeouts and walked only one Vinton County batter.
The Ironladies retired the side in order against the Lady Vikings in the top of the first inning and then busted the game open in the bottom of the frame. Sydney Humphreys led off with a double and Hammond drove her home with a RBI single to right field. Banks followed with a two-run home run to center field and Katelyn Newkirk doubled in a run, but they weren't finished.
Jackson capitalized on what turned out to be a two-run error, which allowed Newkirk and Evans to score. Then Mariah Ridgeway drove in Mackenzie Humphreys with a RBI single for a 7-0 lead.
The Ironaldies added a run in the second inning on a RBI single by Kylee Bako that scored Patterson, before the offense went off again in the third inning, sending 14 batters to the plate and scored 11 runs on eight hits.
Mackenzie Humphreys and Sydney Humphreys both singled and Ridgeway walked to load the bases. Hammond cleared the bases with a home run to center field. Then after Banks singled, Patterson followed with a two-run home run. After Bako singled, Newkirk reached on a fielder's choice and a sacrifice bunt by Evans advanced the runners to second and third. Mackenzie Humphreys walked to load the bases and Sydney Humphreys drove in Bako with a sacrifice fly to left.
With the bases again loaded after a single by Ridgeway, Hammond launched a pitch over the center field fence to plate four more runs and take a 19-0 lead.
Jackson stranded a pair of runners in the fourth and Evans retired the Vinton County side in order in the top of the fifth inning to end the game.
Vinton County's only hits came on a single by Lacy Stapleton in the top of the second and a single by Brookesanne Barnett in the fourth.
Evans retired the Vinton County side in order in three of the five innings she pitched.
Vinton County starter Abby Faught, who was chased after just 1.1 innings of work, took the loss. She allowed 11 runs on eight hits, including two home runs. Shalyn Reffitt, who came on to pitch the final 2.2 innings in relief, scattered 10 hits while giving up eight runs with one walk and one strikeout.