Voyager Academy’s softball team has been around three years. Grace Christian Raleigh’s has existed for four.
When the two collided in an early-season match at Bond Park, the younger program with more experienced players prevailed. Voyager’s Vikings defeated Grace’s Eagles 18-2 on Tuesday.
Putting up numbers: The Vikings (2-1) banged out 14 hits and drew seven walks. Voyager now has 48 runs in three games.
“That’s one of things we’ve been absolutely working on,” first-year coach Don Ladd said. “That was first thing we identified – the fact that they had some mechanical failures in their swings. Everything we’ve been working toward is getting that worked out.”
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Catcher Mackenzie Allison went 3 for 3 with five RBIs, Mallory Wilson had two RBIs, Logan Dunn had one RBI, Camryn Dunnhad had one RBI, pitcher Kalista Kornegay had one RBI and went 3 for 3, Alexis Perry had one RBI, Leah Parrish had one RBI and Ciara Montello had two RBIs.
Kornegay pitched a complete game with only two hits. She struck out nine but walked eight.
“We’ve been working together since seventh grade. I know her tendencies and she knows mine, so it just works together,” Allison said.
Grace (0-4) got hits from Hannah Campbell and Marley Freund. Maira Hudson got an RBI after being hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. The other Eagles run came off a passed ball.
Highlight reel: Allison got a hold of a pitch in her second at-bat in the fourth inning, sending it off the wall in right field. Her hustle made it an inside-the-park home run.
“I was smiling all the way around (the bases) until I got home,” Allison said.
Turning point: Voyager’s lead was 7-2 after a scoreless third inning for both teams, but that changed in the top of the fourth. The Vikings brought up 15 batters and scored 10 runs. By mercy rule standards, the 17-2 lead could have ended the game after the fourth inning, but both teams agreed to play a fifth inning.
Looking ahead: Grace assistant coach Ron Ferrell – coach George Smith was out of town – couldn’t help but notice his team’s improvement from a year ago in the small things. His team caught two fly balls in the outfield, which he estimated is more than all of last season when the team struggled to make it to a fifth inning.
One of of those, in the fifth inning, the Eagles doubled up a runner at second base.
“We’ve got all new players. We had a lot of seniors come out to just to make sure we had a team. They’re trying to have a good time. We had base runners today, we just couldn’t get them in,” Ferrell said. “The improvement is just unbelievable. ... Unfortunately we don’t have many opportunities to play teams who are also just beginning.”