After missing out on a season last summer due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Wayne County Post 11 started the 2021 season off with a bang.
“In our first year in 2019, when we missed the state finals by a game, I was looking forward to next year, and then COVID-19 hit us,” Wayne County head coach T.J. Smothers said. “I’m just happy for girls. The girls want to play, and I want to give them an avenue to keep playing.”
Post 11 dominated Johnson County Post 109 en route to an 11-2 victory on Monday evening.
Wayne County found itself in a jam during the top of the first inning.
With one out on the board, Johnson County managed to load the bases, but Johnson County was unable to take advantage, and starting pitcher Brianna Verme got Post 11 out of the inning.
In the bottom of the inning, Wayne County scored its first four runs of the game.
McKenzie Millard and Alyssa Smothers both hit singles, while Cana Shrock was hit by a pitch to load the bases.
Laine Marak drove in a run with a single, Mackenzie Amodeo drew a walk with the bases loaded, and Brittney Butts capped the four-run outburst with a two-RBI double.
“We hit the ball when we had to,” Smothers said.
Amodeo delivered a two-RBI double in the bottom of the second, and Butts’ RBI-double in the bottom of the third extended Post 11’s lead up to 7-0.
Johnson County scored its only two runs of the game in the top of the fourth but had no answer for Post 11’s high-powered bats.
Marak hit a lead-off single in the bottom of the fourth, and Amodeo followed with a two-run home run as Post 11 took a 9-2 lead.
Butts gave Wayne County an 10-2 advantage with an RBI-ground out.
Post 109 then tried to pick off Kierstin Cooper at third, but a Post 109 error enabled Cooper to score and give Wayne County an 11-2 lead.
Wayne County then shut the door on Post 109 in the top of the fifth to seal the victory.
“I was impressed, and we’ve got a good team,” Wayne County head coach T.J. Smothers said. “We’re going to hit the ball, we’re going to play defense, and we’re going to have good pitching.
“I’m just glad to back on the field and play.”
With a team loaded with talent, Smothers said the expectations for this year’s team are high.
“I told the girls the state championship is in August at Gardner Webb, and that’s where we want to be,” Smothers said.