Energy on offense carried the Soldotna softball team to a 23-9 victory over Kenai Central in four innings Friday in Southcentral Conference play at Steve Shearer Memorial Ball Park in Kenai.
The Stars moved to 3-2 overall and 3-1 in the league, while the Kards fell to 0-2 in the league and 2-6 overall.
Facing hard-throwing Kenai Central righty Cierra King, the Stars scored by getting discipline, and at least one run, from every spot in the order.
“We had great patience at the plate,” Soldotna coach Kelli Knoebel said. “We trusted our zone and understood what pitch we wanted to go after.
“We didn’t get down after we had a strike.”
The Stars were able to work King for 14 walks in the game, but their nine hits show that they weren’t merely sitting at the plate with the bat on their shoulders. King also had four strikeouts.
“We had a lot of excitement on offense,” Knoebel said. “The bench, the fans, everybody was getting behind us and we used that energy.”
The Stars led 5-2 after the first inning and then struck for seven runs in the top of the second for all the cushion they would need.
Of the 23 runs, 12 were earned. Kenai coach John Manley said his squad’s defense was good for the most part, but that’s not good enough against Soldotna.
“I knew this would be a tough game,” Manley said. “We had a couple of things go badly, and you can’t do bad things against a team like that.”
For SoHi, Jazi Larrow reach four times and scored four runs, while Ashley McDonald reached four times and scored three runs, and Darcy Blume was 2 for 5 with four runs and three RBIs.
Also for the Stars, Ember Lohrke had two runs and two RBIs, Taylor Earll had two runs and two RBIs, Carlin Mayer had three runs, Tara Lynn Frates was 2 for 3 with three runs, Alicia McClelland was 1 for 2 with a run and an RBI, and Casey Earll had two runs.
Danielle Hills worked all four innings on the mound for the Stars, walking nine, striking out five, hitting one and yielding four hits.
“She had good composure on the mound and stuck to her routine,” Knoebel said. “Having Carlin behind the plate helped. Carlin did a great job.”
Manley said he was happy with the team’s play on offense.
“When we got them on, we got them in, they just got more on than we did,” he said. “When you get nine runs against Soldotna, you’re doing something.”
Emily Koziczkowski was 3 for 3 with three runs and five RBIs for the Kardinals, while Alyssa Stanton had three runs, Patricia Catacutan had two runs, Savannah Jones was 1 for 2 with an RBI and Fiona Heath had a run.
Manley said Jones had to play third base due to an injury and she held up well with the transition.
“The girls didn’t give up,” Manley said. “They hung in there. They’re getting better.”
Homer finishes 1-3 at Blue and Gold Battle in Anchorage
The Homer softball team finished 1-3 at the Blue and Gold Battle in Anchorage on Friday and Saturday.
Friday, Homer opened the tournament with a 15-1 loss to Dimond. The Lynx got to Annalynn Brown for 14 runs in two innings before getting one run off Annali Metz in an inning.
Elsie Smith had a hit and a run for Homer, while Briana Hetrick had a hit and an RBI, and Malina Fellows added a hit.
The Mariners then dropped a lopsided game to Palmer on Friday.
Saturday, Homer notched a 13-3 victory over the Krush, an Under-16 team with the Anchorage Softball Association.
Brown pitched 3 2-3 innings, giving up a run on three hits while striking out five and walking four.
Metz finished with 1 1-3 innings, giving up two runs on a hit while walking one.
Mary Hana Bowe was 2 for 3 with three runs and two RBIs, while Malina Fellows was 2 for 2 with three runs. Also for Homer, Elsie Smith had two runs, Briana Hetrick had two runs and Rylee Doughty had three runs.