Big third inning lifts Red Level to lopsided area softball victory over McKenzie

Published 11:00 am Thursday, March 21, 2024

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Red Level erupted for 10 runs in the third inning and cruised to an 18-6 area win against McKenzie in a varsity softball game on Tuesday, March 19.

Red Level went to 8-4 overall and 4-1 in 1A Area 3, while McKenzie dropped to 2-9 overall and 1-2 against area teams.

McKenzie led off the game with a double, but Bailey Green did not allow a run to score. Kennedy Lord had a one-out single and took second in the bottom of the first as Red Level was also held in check.

McKenzie struck the scoreboard first off a hit batter in the top of the second. Green kept the score 1-0 with a strikeout, and Red Level responded with four runs in its half of the inning. A pitch hit Caroline Blackwell, and Payten Martin singled with nobody out. After Blackwell and Martin each moved up on a wild pitch, Ke’Mariah Crittenden delivered a two-run single for a 2-1 lead. Zoey Phillips followed with a single as Crittenden came home on an RBI single from Kayden Lord. Amaya Williams cashed in a two-out single and brought in Kayden Lord for a 4-1 lead after two innings.

McKenzie scored three times in the visiting third and evened the score at 4-4. Blackwell kept the score tied and got the final two outs on a pop-up and groundout. Red Level broke away for good with a big bottom of the inning. Blackwell started with a single, and walks to Martin and Phillips loaded the bases with one out. Kennedy Lord and Greer Meeks drew bases-loaded walks for a 6-4 edge. Phillips and Kennedy then scored on a two-run single from Kayden Lord. Meeks scored the ninth run on a wild pitch, and Williams had an RBI triple to plate Kayden Lord. Martin drove home Williams on a bunt single as Crittenden capped the scoring with an RBI single that cleared the bases for a 14-4 lead at the end of three.

Blackwell needed only 13 pitches in the top of the fourth to retire McKenzie in order. Meeks led off the bottom half with a single and stole both second and third. A wild pitch sent Meeks to the plate for a 15-4 margin. Blackwell kept the inning going when she reached on a two-out error and brought home another run. Phillips and Kayden Lord each earned an RBI with bases-loaded walks and propelled Red Level to an 18-4 lead with four innings completed.

McKenzie scored two runs in the fifth off a pair of wild pitches before the game ended.

Martin finished 3-for-3 with four runs scored and an RBI. Crittenden went 2-for-3 with a run scored and five RBIs. Kennedy Lord and Williams also contributed two hits for Red Level. Green earned the win with 2 1/3 innings of work and allowed four runs (three earned) on two hits with three walks and three strikeouts. Blackwell issued two runs (one earned) on two hits with two walks and two strikeouts in relief. Four McKenzie players recorded hits in the loss.

Red Level will take the field at Greenville on Thursday, March 21, in the final game before spring break.