RICHLANDS, Va. —
A leadoff batter is supposed to get on base.
Mac Cordill is certainly doing that for the Lady Blues.
Cordill collected three hits, including a double, an RBI and stolen base, leading Richlands to a 9-1 softball victory over Grundy on Tuesday evening at Williams Field.
How productive has Cordill been at the plate, and at shortstop? How about a .700 batting average, with normally sure hands in the field.
“She is a natural at it, she can make plays, she is hitting the ball real well right now,” Richlands head coach Dennis Palmer said. “She is probably hitting around .700 right now, she is not a proto-typical leadoff hitter, but if you hitting .700, that is pretty good.”
Richlands (7-4) collected 11 hits and nine runs against the Golden Wave, with seven of the nine batters getting at least hit and scoring one run.
Mikayla Baldwin added two hits, including a triple, RBI single and two runs scored, while Savannah Barber drove in a pair of runs.
All that and the Lady Blues, which won 13-1 at Grundy last week, was in a 0-0 deadlock with two outs in the third when the runs finally started crossing the plate against Grundy hurler Misty Kelly.
“That pitcher they have got there, she is a good pitcher,” Palmer said. “She throws the ball pretty hard. We hit the ball well, we just didn’t hit it in spots, we were hitting at people.”
Barber, one of three Lady Blues with at least three home runs on the season — along with Cordill and Autumn Lamie — put Richlands up 3-0 in the third, following a throwing error and walk with a single to right field.
A fourth run scored in the fourth on a Baldwin triple and a single from Cordill. Five more crossed in the fifth on five hits, keyed by RBI singles from Baldwin and Alex Hill, and a double from Cordill.
“(Mac) can drive the ball too and we have some other girls that can drive the ball,” said Palmer, whose Blues also took advantage of four Grundy errors. “Hopefully we can hit the ball a little better than we did today.”
Grundy, which didn’t have Kelly in the circle last week, having battled the flu, did collect five hits against Katie Richardson, including a trio of doubles, but the one run scored in the seventh was much too little after a pair of big innings hampered the Wave.
“We put the ball in play good today,” said Grundy head coach and Kelly’s father Russell Kelly. “Just a couple of plays here and there and we would have been right there. It was a couple of big innings that they got.
“Overall, it was just a play here and there, and we could have been right in it.”
Kelly, who turned her ankle on a play at third, kept pitching and hitting, collecting two doubles, one of which came in the seventh. Emily Short pinch-ran for Kelly, and scored on a single to left by multi-sport standout Morgan Hall, who had two hits, including a double for the Golden Wave.
“Morgan is a good athlete,” Kelly said. “She can play about anywhere and hit the ball well.”
Richlands rebounded from dropping a quartet of games over the weekend at the talent-laden Eastman Invitational in Kingsport, Tenn., the only losses of the season for the 7-4 Lady Blues.
“We went 0-4 down there, but we played four really good teams. All those teams were real, real good,” Palmer said. “We had a chance to win a couple of games, but we played well and we hit the ball well, but they have got good teams down there.
“We played well, we hit the ball well, but they have got good teams down there. You have to play really well to be able to win down there.”
Softball is all about pitching, and the Lady Blues saw plenty of it last weekend, which Palmer figures should pay dividends as the season progresses.
“We faced a little bit better pitchers down there and when you do face good pitchers, they are not in shock,” Palmer said. “They can throw a little bit faster than what we see around here. Hopefully it will help us down the road somewhere.”
Richlands, who won consecutive Group AA state titles in 1995-96, returns to action today at Graham. Richardson, who allowed five hits, struck out five and walked none despite an ailing leg, will probably be replaced in the circle by another talented pitcher, freshman Hannah Lester.
“Her hamstring is kind of hurting her a little bit right now,” Palmer said. “It kind of held her speed up because she wasn’t able to come off the mound as hard as she usually does so she wasn’t throwing as hard.
“She will throw harder than she did today, but she can spot the ball well, has got a good change-up. Hannah Lester will come in and we will probably throw her tomorrow. She throws the ball pretty hard.”
Grundy (2-4) actually went a few years without a softball program, but Kelly sees a bright future ahead with a roster that includes six seniors and seven freshmen, along with one junior.
“This makes the fourth year of varsity back, we went a couple of years and didn’t have a team,” said Kelly, whose Golden Wave will play defending 1A state champion Honaker on Friday. “We don’t have a JV, but this year we have got a middle school team so that will help...
“We are losing the (seniors), but we have got a good future here. Hopefully we can shore up on some things here and hopefully we can play a little closer next time. We will see.”
—email@example.com and Twitter @bdtwoodson.
at Williams Field
Grundy.............000 000 1 — 1 5 4
Richlands........003 150 x — 9 11 2
Misty Kelly and Hannah Owens. Katie Richardson and Alex Hill. W—Richardson; L—Kelly. HR—none.