Andalusia blanks Greenville, 10-0

Published 12:00 am Saturday, February 25, 2006

ANDALUSIA — On a cold and windy day better suited for kite flying, Andalusia successfully kicked off its 2006 softball season, picking up a relatively easy 10-0 victory against the visiting Greenville in five innings.

A quick glance around the bleachers at Kiwanis Park revealed just how uncooperative Mother Nature was on Thursday. Heavy coats, blankets and hot coffee were the items of choice in any effort to stay warm n and, that was before the sun slid behind the western tree line.

But, as cold as it seemed to be in the stands, the Lady Bulldogs were red hot on the ball field.

Hannah Reynolds, a 17-game winner last season, got the start and notched her first win of the year.

Reynolds, a junior, sent the Tigers back to their dugout in order in the opening frame, but then ran into trouble in the second when Greenville managed to load the bases with one out. The early challenge didn’t seem to bother Reynolds, however, as she struck out the next two batters to get out of the inning with no damage done. Reynolds seemed confident even while working under the harsh weather conditions.

&#8220I was a little nervous at first,” Reynolds said. &#8220But, I was confident the team would back me up. It's good to get the season off with a win.”

From that point on, Reynolds seemed to be coasting. The third and fourth innings were mirrors of the opening frame where she dispatched would be Tiger hitters three-up-and-three-down. In all, Reynolds faced 15 batters, gave up only one hit and one base on balls, while striking out six.

Nicole Norton came away with Greenville's only hit in the game during the second inning.

That also was the only time the Tigers (1-1) threatened by loading the bases with one out.

Combined with the lack of offense, Greenville struggled defensively committing six errors.

&#8220Andalusia is a good, solid program,” Tigers coach Donna Sunnycalb said. &#8220He's building something over there, while our inexperience is just killing us right now. We have one upperclassman in the infield right now, so we'll have to mature as a team.”

Meanwhile, the Bulldogs manufactured 10 runs from a total of eight hits — four of those coming in a 6-run second inning where all nine Bulldogs took their turn at the plate.

Morgen Battey led off with an infield single and then advanced to second on an over throw at first base. Hannah Bush took first after being hit by a pitch. Kacey Russell reached safely on an error. Deeanna Strong then plated Battey and Bush with a fly ball over first base that dropped in for a two run single, giving the home team a 2-0 early lead.

Reynolds helped her own cause later in the inning by ripping solid ground-ball single through the middle of the infield. Initially, it looked as though it would be a routine 2-run hit up the middle, but Reynolds ended up clearing the bases when Greenville's center fielder failed to handle the ball.

Andalusia added a run in the third when Bush, looking down the line from third base, alertly bolted for home on a passed ball at the plate, giving the Bulldogs a 7-0 advantage. Two more runs were added in the fourth to make it 9-0.

When Courtney Duke crossed the plate in the bottom of the fifth for another run, making the score 10-0, the mercy rule was triggered, bringing the game to a halt.

Reynolds gave way in the fifth inning to Morgen Battey, another 17-game winner from last season. Battey shut the door, allowing the Bulldogs an opportunity to close it out with the mercy rule in their next at bat.

Greenville returns to action Tuesday to face Class 3A power St. James in Montgomery.

— Advocate sports editor Kevin Taylor contributed to this report.