What better time to have a big day than the biggest game of the season to date?
That’s exactly what freshman Haley Hinshaw did for the Central High School Lady Raiders Sunday against Lincoln County.
Hinshaw blasted a three-run home run to dead center in the third inning and plated another run on a squeeze bunt for a four-RBI night for the Lady Raiders en route to a 5-0 win over Lincoln County in Manchester and a regular season District 8-AAA title.
“It was an inside pitch and I just saw it and was able to make solid contact,” said Hinshaw. “It was my first home run and this was a good game for it.”
Junior hurler Brianna Jones surrendered just two hits and struck out 11 Lady Falcon batters in the win for CHS. The Lady Raiders (23-12-1 overall, 10-2 District 8-AAA) finished the game with eight hits off Lincoln County sophomore Breanna Owens. The win sealed the regular season district championship for CHS.
“I thought we hit very well,” said CHS head coach Terry Floyd. “Haley started to impress me, coach [Brandon] McWhorter said she had been hitting very well in JV and so we put her in the lineup and in worked out well, she came through big for us today.”
The scoring started in the third inning when CHS’ Rhianna Roberson singled and moved to second on a Tori Bell sacrifice bunt and scored on a Shelby Giles double. Bethany Baker then reached on an error before freshman Kaylee Skipper put down a bunt. Giles was tagged out at home on the bunt but Skipper was safe at first. Baker and Skipper advanced to second and third on the play at the plate before Hinshaw’s three-run big fly.
The final run of the game came in the home-half of the fifth inning when Bethany Baker doubled, moved to second on another Skipper bunt and scored on a squeeze bunt from Hinshaw.
Bell belted a single to right field in the sixth but CHS was unable to capitalize.
“We had a lot of fun today and we played with intensity and focus,” said Bell. “Today was a good day for us, we knew we needed to win, I believe in us and I think we can carry this momentum into the postseason.”
Floyd said Bell, one of three freshman in the starting lineup for the Lady Raiders in the game, has become a real asset to the team.
“During tryouts last year I saw a spark in Tori and now she is becoming the catcher I knew she could be,” said Floyd. “Her strength is coming back from her knee injury and she is doing a very good job for us.”
Floyd said if his squad continues to play the way it did against Lincoln County, he has no doubt the Lady Raiders can be successful in the postseason…
Read more in this week’s (April 30) print edition of the Manchester Times.