WALKER — Lainee Bailey and Elise Jones had no problems clearing the bases in Walker’s 5-2 win over Doyle on Monday.
The two No. 4 hitters — Bailey for Walker, Jones for Doyle — went a combined 3 for 4 for with three home runs, five RBIs and three runs scored. Bailey also pitched a complete game in the circle for the Wildcats.
Walker (19-4) entered with an eight-game winning streak, while the Tigers (16-5) hoped to bring their nine-game winning streak into double digits.
Bailey wasted no time securing herself a one-run cushion in her first at-bat off Marley Olivier, when she took a rise ball high in the strike zone over the left field fence. Three batters later, Alayna Daigrepont added a two-run homer. She wasn’t done, though. The junior took a no-hitter into the third before she stepped to the plate a second time. With Gyan Hammons on second, Bailey golfed a pitch over the center field fence to stretch Walker’s lead to 5-0.
Undeterred by the lead, Tigers third baseman Elise Jones laced a two-run home run to center field, ending Bailey’s no-hit bid. Olivier returned the favor with another liner into center field on the following at bat. Bailey managed to escape the inning with a three-run lead still intact.
It was the last inning that Bailey found herself in hot water, though. She finished with 11 strikeouts, a pair of earned runs and three walks. Olivier finished with eight strikeouts, surrendered five runs, with four earned, and a walk in seven innings, matching Bailey’s complete-game effort.
“We’ve always enjoyed playing Doyle every year, and it’s always a really good game,” Walker coach Hali Fletcher said. “A lot of these girls grew up playing together in travel ball, but we came out today with our same mission in mind. We kind of struggled at the plate initially, but we made some really good adjustments. Doyle played a heck of a game.”
For Doyle coach Amanda Decell, the loss might have ended a nine-game winning streak, but the quality of opponent helped prepare her squad for the playoffs.
“I told them, you never want to lose. You hate losing,” Decell said. “When you’re playing competition like this, you can look for some positives. We competed, we didn’t give up. That was the best thing.”