The frigid temperatures could not cool the hot bats of the West Lafayette Red Devils.
The latest in a season-long hit parade came Wednesday in a 15-5 victory over rival Central Catholic.
West Lafayette’s performance only further increased its statistics that would be hard to duplicate even on a video game.
The Red Devils average 12.4 runs. For the season, West Lafayette’s lineup is a batting a cumulative .368. Six regular starters were hitting at least .359 entering Wednesday’s game.
“Every day when I try to do the lineup, there’s 11 or 12 girls I feel I can put in it and we they will be successful,” first-year head coach Chauncey Stacy said.
There’s been a select few who’ve solved the lineup. Benton Central, Lowell (twice) and McCutcheon account for WL’s four losses. BC kept the Red Devils to a season-low two runs.
Countering that are seven games of at least 12 runs, including three of 20 or more.
And to think Stacy considers herself a defensive-minded coach.
“If we can work out some quirks there, then we are really dangerous,” Stacy said.
Against the Knights, West Lafayette stockpiled 15 hits, including two apiece by Sophie Millsaps, Sophie Shinn, Olivia Kirchner, Gabi Truitt and Madi Jacobs. Senior Devin Hainje, the team’s leading hitter a year ago, went 3-for-4.
It started with Millsaps, who led off the game with a single, stole two bases and later crossed home on a wild pitch after the Knights scored twice in the top of the first.
“I have to get on base. We have big hitters behind me to bring me in,” Millsaps said. “I feel like that’s one run if I just get on.”
Tess DeBruyn and Molly Erb had one hit apiece, but made them count. DeBruyn ended the game via a run-rule victory with a bullet off the center field wall in the bottom of the sixth to score Kirchner.
Earlier in the inning, Erb connected on her third homer of the season. But this one was unlike the others. Actually, it was unlike any she’s hit in her life.
The only thing keeping the ball from sailing onto Salisbury Street beyond right-center field was a large evergreen tree that rest beyond two fences.
“It felt really great off the bat. I don’t really know what I can say. It was probably one of the best feelings I’ve ever had,” Erb said. “We have really strong hitters. It pushes everyone to do better.”
With a deep lineup, the Red Devils know there’s potential for a special season. West Lafayette has not won a softball sectional since 2006, a drought that is motivating a roster stocked with upperclassmen, some who’ve experienced sectional championships in other sports, but never in softball.
“This is my last year, my last chance. It is definitely something we all want,” Hainje said.