Hornets buzz past Southside

Published 10:24 pm Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Dallas County’s Whitney Denson releases a pitch in the first inning of the Lady Hornets 17-2 win over Southside High School. Denson pitched three innings in the win. -- Chris Wasson

The Dallas County softball team continued it’s fiery start with a 17-2 victory over Southside High School.

The Lady Hornets (13-1, 2-0) were able to take down the Lady Panthers (2-3, 1-0) with a barrage of hits from younger players.

“They played pretty well today,” Dallas County coach Ed Miller said. “We were able to get some of the younger players into the game, which is good because our JV has had their games rained out this season.”

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It was the Lady Hornets first home game, but they were able to put on a show for the fans.

Scoring three runs in the second inning, seven runs in the third inning and six runs in the fourth inning.

Kendall Veach led Dallas County at the plate going 2 for 3 with three runs scored; Whitney Denson went 2 for 3 with an RBI and a run scored.

Katy White went 1 for 2 with 3 runs scored.

Denson also got the win for the Lady Hornets, striking out seven in three innings of work.

“We have been playing really good ball so far this season,” Miller said. “We have been playing a lot of tournaments, because that is a different kind of ball that you have to be ready for by the time you get to the state tournament.

“We have been playing some good 5A and 6A teams so our girls can see they can play with them.”

On the other side of the field, the Lady Panthers have begun to show improvement according to coach April O’Neal.

“I have only been able to work with them for three weeks because of basketball,” said O’Neal. “So we are just getting down to our groove. We are showing improvement though.

“I would go crazy if we weren’t showing any sort of improvement. I’m not disappointed at all with the way we have started.”

The Lady Hornets also had a strong showing in a weekend tournament at Wetumpka.

Behind strong pitching and solid defense, the Dallas County Lady Hornets came up just short in the highly competitive Wetumpka Softball Invitational with a semifinal loss to 6A power Enterprise.  The Wetumpka Invitational is a usual standard for teams to see where they stand early in the year against some of the best teams in central and south Alabama.  The Lady Hornets opened pool play Friday night with a 3-1 victory over Coosa Central and a 7-0 win over New Brocton to gain a top seed for Saturday.  Cassie Daniels took command on the mound early in the tournament with a first game three-hitter but followed it up even better with a perfect game in the second game.

In the opening game of elimintion play on Saturday, Dallas County collected a 1-0 victory over perenial 6A power Wetumpka as Daniels again pitched a perfect game while collecting 11 strikeouts along the way.  Kendall Veach scored the lone run as she scored on a Daniels single.  In the second game of the day, Dallas County drew 4A power ACA and came away with a 5-0 win as Daniels threw a two-hitter.  In the game, Kendall Veach, Daniels, Avery Mott, and Ilicia Stewart all collected multiple hits.

In the semifinal game, Dallas County appeared to be ready to take control in the first as Amy Persinger reached on an error.  Kendall Veach followed with a bunt single.  Whitney Denson and Daniels drew walks to push the first run across before Enterprise held tough.

on three consecutive groundouts and did not allow another run in the inning.  The Lady Hornets had another chance in the third to break a 1-1 tie as Denson led off with a double to left but was stranded as Ciera Ingram flew out deep to left.  After almost five games in the tournament without an error, the Dallas County defense commited an error following consecutive hits by Enterprise in the final inning as Enterprise took the win.  It was the first loss of the year for the Hornets.  For the tournament, AUM signee Daniels had a 4-1 record while allowing 9 hits, 7 walks, and striking out 44 batters.