- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
If a grand slam home run in a baseball or softball game is slightly rare and a triple play in a baseball or softball game is even rarer, then a grand slam and a triple play in the same baseball or softball game can be classified as the rarest of rare.
In Wednesday evening’s Women’s League contest at Seventh District Park in Bushwood, Southern Insulation managed to defeat Mix It Up 18-4 in a Division I contest, but it was the grand slam and triple play Southern produced that was as big as the victory.
In the fifth inning and already leading 14-4, Southern’s Sarah Russell came to the plate with the bases loaded.
Despite popping up in her previous two at-bats, this at-bat yielded a much different result.
A line drive into left field rolled deep into the outfield allowing Russell to clear the bases and cross the plate herself, taking the lead to 18-4.
“I knew it was really important to hit the ball because everybody drew the entire outfield in,” Russell said. “I was just thinking, ‘I need to hit the ball far,’ and I actually succeeded so it was really exciting.”
Southern head coach Tommy King joked with Russell that she owed him after her second fly ball and joked again after the grand slam that she no longer owed him anything.
“I saw the pitch coming in, I saw her wind up and you can kind of tell when she is about to get ahold of something,” King said. “That’s the thing, it’s about discipline. The two at-bats before that hit were not her swing, not her cut.”
In the following half-inning, the Southern defense took the field with runners on first and second base. A line drive from Mix It Up’s Kathy Keys went to shortstop Trisha Sagers, who then flipped the ball to second baseman Lisa Quill. Quill finally tossed to first baseman April Fernandes to complete the triple play.
Southern starting pitcher Denise Bayer induced the triple play from the mound.
“No, I have not and that was very interesting and very cool,” Bayer said of being in a game with a grand slam and a triple play.
Bayer pitched all seven innings for Southern in the win but not without a large amount of heckling from the crowd, which she took in stride smiling through each inning.
“It’s part of the game and you have to expect it,” Bayer said. “I have been playing this game for a long time and you just have to expect some of that. It’s fun, it can be a distraction, but you have to roll with it. That’s all that you can do.”
Southern (15-2) kept its lead in Division I with the win and led from its very first inning at-bat on Wednesday.
Scoring three runs in the first inning and three additional runs in the second, a 6-0 cushion paved the way to victory.
A seven-run fourth inning on the strength of an RBI triple from Kara Sapp and back-to-back RBI singles from Jenn Kern and Sagers combined with a five-run fifth put the game away.
“They always play us tough and it’s always a high-intensity game,” King said. “I was kind of surprised a little bit [about Mix It Up]. I don’t know what contributed to that. Normally, they hit really well against us. But I can say one thing, my girls are coming together.”
Mix It Up and manager Otis Brown finished their regular season at 12-6 after winning nine-straight games before Wednesday’s loss.
“I just told them that if you don’t hit the ball against a team like this, you won’t go to a championship; you won’t win a championship,” Brown said. “We’re not going to complain about the officiating because we didn’t hit the ball either. … We just have to tighten up.”
Southern 18, Mix It Up 4
Mix It Up 001 030 0 4 9 1
Southern 330 750 x 18 15 1
WP Bayer, LP Shields
Extra-base hits: 2B Mayor (S); HR Russell (S)