BURNET — The only ones capable of stopping Salado were the umpires.
After experiencing a subpar showing by their personal standards in a 10-0 win against Leander Glenn, the Class 4A No. 13 Lady Eagles entered Burnet with an objective of scoring three runs per inning.
In the first inning, the expectations were greatly exceeded.
Salado opened the game with six consecutive batters reaching base en route to a nine-run outburst before cruising to a 16-0 three-inning, run-rule victory.
Following the blowout, Lady Eagles leadoff hitter Piper Randolph, who was 4 for 4 in the win, admitted every at bat seemed destined for success.
“Hitting is really contagious when you have a lot of energy and a positive attitude,” the second baseman said, “and tonight it was one hit after another. They just kept coming.
“It felt like we were going to get on no matter what, and it got the momentum really going in our favor.”
Upon witnessing his roster produce 13 hits, including seven in the first inning, Salado head coach Kory Craddick echoed the sentiments.
“It really just trickled down the lineup,” he said. “It’s like dominoes once they start falling; all the girls just start going with it, and I was really pleased to see how many people put the ball in play and made things happen.”
Randolph opened the contest with a bunt before teammate Breigh Oliver’s RBI single generated the first run. Then, catcher Jenna Calder and first baseman Christin Wilson delivered consecutive RBI doubles.
Moments later, Wilson scored as designated player Marissa Gonzalez reached base on the first of five errors for the Lady Bulldogs (4-16, 0-2 District 19-4A).
The gaffe helped set the stage for junior Abbie James to send a grand slam over the centerfield wall three batters later, completing the Lady Eagles’ first of three runs through their batting order.
“Right before that pitch,” Craddick said, “I heard one of the freshmen, who are still learning the game, say, ‘Hit a grand slam.’
“I thought to myself, ‘Lets just get a base hit,’ and about that time it just started going and going and going.”
So did Salado’s offense.
Piper’s second run capped off the top of the first inning, and the nine-run advantage swelled to 13-0 after the second inning.
The Lady Eagles (20-3, 4-0) added three more runs in the top of the third inning before the Lady Bulldogs, who finished with one hit, went three up, three down to end the contest.
Six Salado players finished with at least one hit, RBI and run scored, including Oliver, who was 3 for 4 with four RBIs and three runs, and Randolph, who was perfect in her four at bats.
After her game-opening bunt, she had consecutive standup doubles and capped off her performance with a RBI single in the third inning to go along with crossing home plate three times.
Although hitting is a process based in mechanics, Randolph attributed her showing to emotions.
“I was feeling really good and happy,” she said. “My self-esteem was really high because my teammates kept cheering me on.
“It all just came together for all of us, and the team really came together.
“When we start encouraging each other, it helps a lot.”