WESTMORELAND The Westmoreland High School softball program had seven wins last season.
On the 10th day of this season, the Lady Eagles won their fourth consecutive game, a 13-6 victory over visiting Gallatin in the team’s home opener on Wednesday evening.
“We’ve been working hard every day in the cage, hitting off the tee and in different drills,” Westmoreland senior catcher Addie Morris said. “This year, we’ve come together as a family. We are best friends in the classroom and on the field. It makes it easier to win games.”
The Lady Eagles scored double-figure runs for the second consecutive day, after producing a 15-0, three-inning victory at Trousdale County on Wednesday.
“This group is the closest I’ve had, on the field and off,” Westmoreland head coach Kyla White said. “They are like sisters. They have come together the best I’ve ever had. They build each other up and don’t let each other get down. It’s a special group, and we have leadership from two or three players we haven’t had before.”
The Lady Eagles built a 5-0 lead, with junior Savannah Whiticker and Morris doubling in the three-run first inning before junior Lizzie Johnson tripled.
Then, two errors and a hit batsman led to sophomore Morgan Gregory and junior Kimi Richardson scoring in the second inning.
“It is disappointing,” Lady Wave head coach Randall Silcox said. “At some point, we have to be able to stop the bleeding. A lot of times, when something goes wrong, it starts pouring.
“They did a good job of getting their bats going and taking advantage of mistakes, and it was us not being able to capitalize on them. We have to be able to put the bat on the ball and drive it to the outfield.”
Sophomore Haley Barnes hit her first home run as Gallatin (3-5) – which was playing without sophomore leftfielder Cassidy Graves (sidelined due to an illness) – erupted for four runs in the third inning.
Freshman Sidney Link singled in two runs later in the frame, and senior Rene’ Hudson doubled to lead off the fourth and scored the tying run on a sacrifice fly by junior Ashlee Banks.
However, Westmoreland (4-2) reassumed control when Whiticker singled in two runs in the bottom of the fourth, followed by Morris’ three-run home run. The line-drive shot was her third homer of the season.
“I was expecting a change-up honestly,” Morris – a Martin Methodist College commit – said. “I was way down in the count, two strikes and no balls. I believe she was trying to pitch a curveball or an outside pitch. It just didn’t quite get there. It was (on the) outside corner.”
After Morris scored on a sixth-inning wild pitch, sophomore Kendell Goodrum singled in junior Kiersten Powell and sophomore Kailan Woodard to create an eight-run margin.
Goodrum had three hits and also picked up the complete-game victory in the pitcher’s circle, recording six strikeouts.
Barnes singled in the seventh inning and scored the game’s final run when freshman Makayla Wright reached on an infield singled.
Barnes had three of her squad’s 12 hits, as did sophomore Michaela Thompson.
The Lady Eagles won for the third consecutive day, including a 6-3 win at Sycamore in Monday’s district opener.
“Everybody is ecstatic,” Morris said. “Everybody loves it. I’m not the only who has been through (struggles to win).
“Instead of coming out expecting to lose and expecting to have to fight for it, we come out expecting to win and be on top.”
Reach Craig Harris at email@example.com or at 615-575-7138. Follow him on Twitter @HarrisGNESports.
Gallatin 004 100 1 – 6 12 3
Westmoreland 320 503 x – 13 10 2
Savannah Link, Sidney Link (1) and Haley Barnes; Kendell Goodrum and Addie Morris. WP – Goodrum. LP – Sidney Link. Home runs: Gallatin – Haley Barnes (1); Westmoreland – Addie Morris (3). Records: Gallatin 3-5, Westmoreland 4-2.