Rams unleash offense, defeat Lions

May 11—RACELAND — Kali Vance didn't spend too long in the batter's box on Friday night.

The Raceland handled itself well without the production from the junior slugger. Vance was intentionally walked in her first four plate appearances.

Every Ram in the batting order posted a hit against visiting Lewis County. Raceland overcame an early deficit with 20 runs over the fifth and sixth frames to win going away, 23-6, in six innings.

"We've had a couple of kids in slumps the last few games," Raceland coach Scott Adkins said, "and they came out and hit (tonight). It's really helped with their confidence. When they are hitting the ball and everybody else is hitting the ball, the confidence is there."

Two-run singles from Lily Poplin, Shelby Gauze and Peyton Mackie highlighted an eight-run fifth inning for the Rams.

Raceland sent 14 batters to the plate in the frame, collecting just four hits but were aided by a bases-loaded walk and hit batsman.

Vance finally got the chance to swing at a pitch in the sixth stanza and the catcher delivered. Vance's RBI single gave the Rams a 10-run advantage and put the run-rule in play. Savannah Ratliff plated two runs with a single and Gauze brought in another along with a two-run fielding error.

"We are a hitting team," Adkins said. "We have been all year. Kali is a big piece of the puzzle. You walk her three or four times and everybody else has to hit. When you have 23 runs, it shows you are hitting the ball."

Poplin opened the sixth inning with a no-doubt two-run homer into the cluster of trees over the right field wall. The seventh-grader has homered in three straight games. She finished 2 for 3 at the plate with five RBIs after forcing in a run with an intentional walk.

"She's a hitter," Adkins said. "She is hitting and seeing the ball very well right now. It's nice to have her down there in the lineup. Right now, anybody in our lineup can hit. We are right there."

Fourteen two-out RBIs dominated the Rams' offense barrage.

Lewis County (10-13, 0-5 in 63rd District seeding games) held a 6-3 lead after four innings. The Lions collected four hits in their first at-bat. Grace Switzer hit an RBI single and Kayson Crawford followed with a sacrifice fly.

Lewis County was the home team even though the game was played on Raceland's turf. The weather during the week made the field in Vanceburg unplayable.

An error and an Aubrey Hicks single put two Lions on the base pads in the third inning. Crawford came through one more time with a three-run long ball. Kaylen Case's RBI double increased Lewis County's lead to three runs in the fourth.

"Our top and the bottom of our lineup was hitting well," Lewis County coach Chad Case said. "We were very confident. But Raceland is a very good ball club. We left a couple of balls out over the plate in the fifth inning. They started hitting, and once they started hitting a little bit, everybody in that lineup can hit. We had a couple of errors in the field. Once they got going, they are hard to stop."

Raceland (26-7) had to deal with Hicks and her offspeed pitches in the circle. Adkins said it was just a matter of staying patient at the plate.

"We told our girls that we have watched them a few times on film and we knew they she would throw the changeup at us," Adkins said. "We worked on it. We kept telling them to adjust and they did. and that's when it happened. The train started rolling."

Bryna Wellman scored five times and was 4 for 5 at the dish with a home run. Reagan Mackie and Poplin scored three times. Peyton Mackie collected four RBIs for the Rams. Gauze was 3 for 5 and knocked in three runs.

Raceland holds a 3-3 record in district play and will wait for the outcome of Monday's game between Russell and Lewis County to determine a final seeding. A Red Devils win will shift the Rams to the No. 3 seed and Raceland will bat first in their tournament matchup against Russell.

A Red Devils defeat would force a tiebreaker to see which team bats last.

The Lions enter the district tournament as the four-time defending champions and their coach feels they will enter the postseason ready to compete for a fifth.

"We are getting better every time we step on the field," Chad Case said. "We've played two good games against Greenup County. ... As long as we stay confident in what we are trying to do, we've got some really good ball players on this team. We just have to put it all together. We are headed in the right direction."

RACELAND 012 08(12) — 23 17 2

LEWIS CO. 203 100 — 6 7 3

Grubb and Vance; Hicks, Lucas (6) and Lucas, Crawford (6). W—Grubb. L—Hicks. 2B—Case (LC), R. Mackie (R), Wellman (R). HR—Crawford (LC), Wellman (), Poplin (R).

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