COVINGTON - Salem had all three phases of their game - hitting, pitching and defense - against Locust Grove in the 10-1 mercy-rule, five-inning win Wednesday.
Lady Seminoles freshman pitcher Rylee Rogers had eight strikeouts while allowing two hits and two walks.
Offensively, Salem (5-2 overall) had eight hits including two doubles by Jessica Vason.
"She's just so strong that it looks effortless when she hits it like that. She's fun to watch," Salem coach Stephanie Bassett said.
Tori Beauchamp also had two hits with Okeema Turk, Stephanie Brassard, Alyssa Essington and Rogers getting a hit.
After a shaky start in which Locust Grove's Emily Brown scored as a result of a throwing error, Rogers settled down striking out the side.
As Rogers' pitching improved it seemed like Salem's hitting also improved with four hits and four runs in the bottom of the third inning.
"I don't think it's a coincidence that whenever Rylee gets into her stride is usually when the team starts hitting. It seems to go hand in hand. I told her she's a leader whether she wants to be or not. The team is watching her in her role and when she starts to feel comfortable they start to feel comfortable hitting. But she's doing great for being in ninth grade."
Turk tied the game, scoring on a wild pitch before Vason's two-bagger plated Beauchamp to give Salem the lead. Vason and Rogers were also able to take advantage of Brown's unsteadiness, scoring on wild pitches to make it 4-1.
Salem added six runs in the fourth inning with two coming from Vason's double, one from Brassard's single and the other three coming because of errors and wild pitches.
"I told the girls that I'm never mad about a win, but I was not pleased. I felt like a lot of the game was a gift. We didn't really start hitting until the fourth inning. I told them they may have to see the pitcher once, but there may come a game that we fall so far behind that we can't catch up. We can't get comfortable coming back in the end."
Manny Fils can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.