E.A. Sports Today

Oxford gets payback

UPDATED — Lady Jackets hit three homers in one inning, rout Alexandria in first meeting since county tournament final

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

OXFORD — Revenge definitely was on the minds of the Oxford softball team Monday.

On Friday, the Lady Jackets lost an extra-inning heartbreaker to Alexandria in the Calhoun County Tournament championship game and were running on empty from four games when they got right back at it the next day.

The teams met again Monday and this time second-ranked Oxford won in a big way, 10-0 in five innings.

Oxford coach Wendy McKibbin downplayed the revenge aspect, saying this was a new week and the focus was getting better for the area tournament, but it wasn’t lost on their players.

“It felt amazing to know that we could beat the team that beat us in the county,” eighth-grade designated player Bailey Clark said.

“There was a lot of talk back and forth and we just backed up our talk,” added center fielder Hayley Lyner.

The Lady Jackets had a lot going for them in the rematch. They pitched out of some tight spots to keep the shutout alive and put the game away in a most prodigious way.

They hadn’t hit three home runs in a game all season, but hit three in the fifth inning — back-to-back shots by Clark and Taylor Ellison and a two-run shot by Hayley Lyner – to end the game. And they all came with room to spare in a park that was a lot bigger than the one they played in last week.

The homers were Lyner’s eighth, Clark’s third with the varsity and Ellison’s first of the season. The Lady Jackets had four doubles and three homers among their 12 hits in the game. Every spot in the lineup reached base at least once.

Rylee Waldrop got it started with a one-out single and then Clark hammered her third homer with the varsity. Ellison followed with a homer to right, then after Ashley Reaves singled, Lyner hit her run-rule walkoff.
“It is revenge, but it isn’t,” said Ellison, who had three extra-base hits in the game. “We should play like that every time we play. We just didn’t play to the best of our ability Friday night.

“Today we finally played to the best of our ability. The main thing would be our offense and defense was on instead of either one. It finally came together.”

Ellison had three hits and eight total bases. Sarah Howell reached base all three times she batted. Grace Mitchell had two hits and so did Ashley Miller.

“That was crazy,” Lyner said. “We just adjusted. We didn’t have practice or anything (Sunday), so we just had to go out and do our own thing. I struggled this weekend, especially with them, so to come out here and get out of my slump with a home run is about the best thing you can do.”

Alexandria missed a few scoring opportunities earlier in the game. The Lady Cubs had a runner at third with two outs in the fifth and had they second and third with one out in the coach Brian Hess dismissed the loss as a game they didn’t win and was ready to move on from it.

“We’re trying to see quality pitching and get some of these younger kids some playing time and kind of look and see what we’re going to have down the road – not just this year but the next two or three years,” he said. “After it was over I said as y’all can tell I’m not very upset about it.

“My biggest thing is I was proud of the quality at-bats you had, you hit quality pitching well, so we can take that into the next two weeks getting ready for the area tournament.”

Oxford 10, Alexandria 0
Alexandria 000 00 – 0 4 2
Oxord 023 05 – 10 13 1
WP: LP: JoJo Skinner. HR: Bailey Clark (O), Taylor Ellison (O), Hayley Lyner (O)

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