Hyde's blast lifts Byrd past Haughton

Hyde's blast lifts Byrd past Haughton

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Hyde's blast lifts Byrd past Haughton

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The cool, night air did little to dampen the spirit or the bat of Byrd’s Claire Hyde on Thursday night at the Lady Jackets’ softball complex.

Hyde stood tall at the plate and launched a full-count offering from Haughton’s Anna Dies on rope over the left field fence to give Byrd pitcher Sarah Long all the runs she needed in a 3-0 Lady Jackets non-district win over District 1-5A rival Haughton.

“It felt like hitting nothing,” said Hyde of the stroke that staked her team to a 1-0, second-inning advantage. “I just stepped to the plate, saw the ball and hit it.”

Hyde’s smash, along with a pair of doubles by Chandler Higgins, gave Long all the support the senior needed. Long worked out of several jams during the game with some quality movement on her pitches.

“Definitely my curve ball was working really well and the umpire was calling it for me,” Long said. “I was so happy Claire got that hit, because every game I’ve pitched so far has been really close.”

The Lady Bucs (6-3) had their chances, especially in the fifth inning when Haley Miller walked, Jessica Blank reached on an error and Dies managed an infield single to load the bases with no outs. But Long coaxed a pair of pop-ups and a ground out from the next three Lady Bucs to get out of the inning.

“Sarah was really on, hitting her spots tonight,” Byrd coach Mark Lambert said. “We just go out there and try to compete every day. I knew this game would be tight because every game is a big game due to the power points.”

First-year Haughton head coach Leanne Shanks was disappointed in her team’s effort in the loss.

“We didn’t make adjustments and we left too many runners on base,” Shanks said. “We’d get two strikes and then still take a big swing. But Byrd is a good team and definitely not a team we’re ashamed to lose to.”

The Lady Jackets added some insurance runs in the fifth when Higgins slapped a one-out double past third and scored on a single by Hannah Ellis. Shelby Spruiell picked up a single and scored on Byrd’s fourth hit of the frame by Tara Schuler.

Long struck out 8 Lady Bucs and allowed four hits, while allowing three walks and a hit batter in the complete game effort.

Byrd and Haughton will play their district game on March 25 in Haughton.

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