Coming right on the heels of an extremely successful win over Cloudland, the Lady Longhorns were back in action Tuesday, dominating the visiting Hampton Lady Bulldogs. It wasnt quite a shutout this time around, but freshman pitcher Brianna Snyder still did a fantastic job on the mound and the whole team was once again relaxed and ready to hit.
Having been surprised time and again by the overwhelmingly positive attitude of the team as well as their simple raw talent, head Coach Dana Smith is still trying to get a handle on how to read this unique group of girls. As stress free as they were today and as they were yesterday we didnt really know what to expect, Smith said. Theres nothing that I can do to really effect it. It has to be something internal that clicks on or off with them. If I could ever figure that out I would be a millionaire because I could sell the secret. Ive honestly never had a team like them. I look at them and I think wheres a little bit of the nervousness that would normally be there and then they just go out there and do their job. I want them like that all the time.
Johnson County was making progress from the very first at bat. Abby Reece got on base with a bunt and then was pushed on through from a huge double by Linnea Yongue. The next up was Jayme Jennings who took first on a walk and then made it home on a double from Hope Nelson that gave her two RBIs. Jennings, whom some have dubbed the hammer went on to hit a double in the fourth that raised her amazing record to 45 RBIs this season.
Yet Jennings wasnt the only batter to send a runner home against Hampton, as senior Ashley Arnold gained two RBIs off a single in the second that left the score 7-0. With such a large lead so early in the game, there was little hope of a comeback for the Lady Bulldogs, but to their credit Hampton never gave up.
Trying to exploit any opportunity they could, Hampton was able to get on base a handful of times, including one double in the first and a single in the third, but was still unable to take home until a long range hit into right field during the fifth gave them second base. That runner was eventually advanced on a hit from the next at bat, giving the Lady Bulldogs their sole run for the night.
We made a few errors tonight and that bothered me a little bit, Coach Smith said after the game. We talked about it some and they just kept playing. They played through it. I try to tell them that what I want you to do is to learn and forget it. Put it in your memory bank and move on. They are very good at that. Maybe I had teams in the past that obsessed a little too much, but these girls dont obsess about anything. The last time we played Hampton we struggled a little bit, so I didnt know what to expect, but as soon as I saw the way they were acting I knew it was going to be different this time.
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