Without head coach Bill Bell, the Homer softball team didn’t miss a beat.
The Mariners topped Kenai Central 19-0 on Monday, invoking the mercy rule after just three innings of Northern Lights Conference play at Steve Shearer Memorial Ball Park in Kenai.
With Bell missing, assistant coach Hannah Zook filled in and the Mariners collected 12 hits while holding the Kardinals to none on their senior night. Zook improved to 1-0 overall as a head coach.
Homer improves to 5-2 in the NLC and 16-9 overall, while the Kardinals drop to 1-4 in the league and 1-7 overall.
“We hit the ball well,” Zook said. “They pitched well to us, and we were able to hit it.”
Lexi Reis got the start for the Kardinals and gave up 11 runs in 1 1-3 innings. Kenai Central coach John Manley said Reis was pitching better as the game went on, but wanted to come out.
Kaylee Lauritsen entered and Manley said she pitched pretty well, especially considering she had missed a week recently due to vacation. Lauristen gave up eight runs in 1 2-3 innings.
For Homer, Annalynn Brown pitched the first two innings and struck out three while walking one.
“She did great,” Zook said. “She brought it.”
In the bottom of the third, Zook brought in Brianna Hetrick to pitch and other players changed positions. The Mariners kept on rolling by facing the minimum in the inning thanks to a double play.
On offense for Homer, Kaylin Anderson was 3 for 4 with three runs and three RBIs, Grace Godfrey was 2 for 3 with three runs and two RBIs, Brown was 2 for 2 with two runs and two RBIs, Hetrick had three RBIs, Kaitlyn Johnson had three runs, Haylee Owen had three runs, Hannah Hatfield had two runs and three RBIs, Zoe Adkins had two RBIs, and Becca Chapman had three RBIs.
Seniors Kylan Lakshas, Leinani Rapoza and Nereid Phillips were honored for the Kardinals on senior night.
Manley said the Kards had errors on plays they would normally make and didn’t hit as well as they normally would, but Kenai did make some good plays in the field. Third baseman Andie Galloway and shortstop Zaharah Wilshusen had a couple of assists, while Phillips made a nice catch in center field.