A nightmare first inning was more than Scotland County could overcome on Thursday night in Memphis as Clark County spoiled the Lady Tigers’ season opener with a 14-3 defeat in five innings.
The Lady Indians rudely greeted freshman hurler Kina Billings in her varsity debut. Isabell Acklie cracked a grand slam to open a nine-run first inning as Billings struggled with her control, walking five, while also surrendering five hits before being relieved by senior Kaitlyn McMinn.
Clark County jumped out to a 9-0 advantage in the opening frame and tacked on another tally in the top of the second.
SCR-I finally got on the board in the bottom of the third inning. Katie Feeney singled and scored on a triple by Hannah Feeney. Hannah Anders reached on an error that drove in the second run and would come around to score on another fielding miscue by the Lady Indians to cut the deficit to 10-3.
The rally was short lived however as Clark County took advantage of a pair of SCR-I errors and a triple by Kiera Brunk to pad the margin with four more runs to push the lead to 14-3.
That proved to be the final score as Ellison retired the side in order in the fourth and fifth innings. She notched the win, allowing three runs, just one earned, on three hits and no walks while striking out six.
Billings took the loss, going 2/3 inning, allowing nine runs, seven earned, on five hits and five walks while striking out two. McMinn pitched 4 1/3 innings of relief, surrendering five runs, one earned, on four hits and four walks while striking out one.
Hannah Feeney was 1-3 with a triple, a run scored and an RBI. Hannah Anders was also 1-3 with an RBI and a run scored. McMinn and Katie Feeney accounted for the only other hits for the Lady Tigers whose bats were mostly held in check by Ellison.