After West Mesquite loaded the bases with no outs and failed to score a run in the top of the first inning, it was pretty clear it was Highland Park’s day.
Sure enough, the Lady Scots grabbed an early lead and rode it to a 4-2 district victory to snap a three-game losing streak on Tuesday afternoon. Pitcher Katie Bell was a little erratic, but she settled down and gave up just four hits, while striking out six.
“Katie has actually been better,” Highland Park head coach Meredith Townsend said. “She walked a few people and got a little wild in the first. But after that first inning, we played really good defense. The hitting came around with it, so we got enough runs. We just need to sit back and be a little more patient next time, but I thought they played well. I feel good.”
With the win, Highland Park (7-9-1, 2-3) moved to within a half of a game of fourth-place Creekview, which the Lady Scots host on Saturday. Highland Park got big afternoons at the plate from leadoff hitter Rennie Orr, Haylee Anigian-Rios, and Emily Vandermeer, who had two hits each to account for all but two of the team’s eight hits.
West Mesquite (2-8, 0-5) threatened to tie things up in the seventh inning with back-to-back infield singles with one out. One run came home on a ground out. Bell (5-9) then issued her sixth walk of the game to give the Lady Wranglers runners on the corners. But Bailey Black then grounded out to end the game.
“In the beginning, it was a little rocky,” Bell said. “We got ourselves back in and picked it up. We just had to work as a team. We’re off to a good start and are hoping to make the playoffs.”
The Lady Scots got a run in the first off an RBI single from Ginna Klein. Highland Park added two more runs in the second when Vandermeer scored on an error, and Orr doubled home Emily Singh. West Mesquite (2-8, 0-5) got its first run on an RBI single by Olivia Murr that brought home Haven Vance. The Lady Scots tacked on an insurance run in the sixth when Kate Hodges singled home Anigian-Rios, who had doubled and tripled.
Becca Bustamante had the only extra-base hit of the game for West Mesquite with a double.