Richmond Hill welcomed the Lady Rebels of Hephzibah on Saturday with a welcome return of their bats as they swept their region 3-AAA rivals 10-0, and 6-2 in a doubleheader at Wildcat Field. Pitching has dominated as of late; it did again on Saturday, but it was her team's breaking out of a major slump that pleased head coach Jodi Reagan the most.
"Oh my gosh yes" said Reagan when asked if she was pleased with her teams 23 hit attack on the day.
"We worked on nothing but hitting during our last practice. Sean (coach Strickland), came up with a drill we used having the girls hitting off batting tees - he called it "queen of the hill". She may consider that a regular part of their practice from now on - because it worked.
Richmond Hill had only four hits in their previous three games but saw several players break out during the doubleheader resurgence and it started at the top.
Melanie Goolsby led off the first game with a single and would have two more to go with her three runs scored. Her departure with a strained back muscle in the first inning of the second game didn’t slow her teammates. Jena Reddick also had a dominating first game from the third spot in the order as well as from the mound.
The Lady Cat freshman went three for three with a double and four RBI’s. All that and what has become a standard four hit shutout from the mound. Margaret Goolsby also had a big day picking up two hits in three at bats and three RBI’s.
Game two would be more of the same, but they had a ceremony first.
It was senior day for Richmond Hill and seeing they only have one senior this season, Heather Vacarro got the royal treatment.
After being escorted to the field by her father she was congratulated by her teammates and given some gifts to remember her final home game. She isn’t likely to forget it any time soon.
The Richmond Hill senior got a single to lead off the sixth inning, advanced to second on Karysa Ventura’s bunt and then while advancing to third on the throw across the diamond slid hard safely but unfortunately broke her leg - painfully ending her Richmond Hill softball career.
Stefanie Ortiz got the game two start and returned to the mound after a short hiatus and in good form. She scattered four hits while striking out four and walking only 2 batters in the seven inning complete game. She had some help.
Alex Hefner’s fifth inning two RBI double to drive in Karysa Ventura and Jena Reddick was the big blow of the second game and helped Richmond Hill to a four run inning.
The big inning broke a one to one tie. After Vacarro’s injury the next inning pinch runner Katie Nance scored an insurance run on Lauren Davis’ RBI ground out.
Ventura finished the game two for three at the plate, Casey was two for four, and Margaret Goolsby three for four.
That was more than enough to support Ortiz’s solid outing and more than enough to put a smile back on coach Reagan’s face.
Coach Reagan had talked of wanting to get the rest of the staff involved and will have a chance again this week-end when the Lady Cats travel to Burke County for a doubleheader.
Richmond Hill improved to 11-5, 5-2 region 3-AAA South and can wrap up second place with a sweep in Waynesboro.
Region playoffs start October 13 at Paulson Complex in Savannah and a second place finish would ensure a favorable seeding in the tournament.