CONYERS - Just like a train, the Lady Seminoles' defense started slow but quickly gained speed and was unstoppable as Salem ran over Monroe Area 4-0 on Tuesday.
Salem pitcher Rylee Rogers put a batter on first base in the first four innings - one hit, one hit batsman and two walks - before shutting down the Lady Hurricanes.
Rogers had 11 strikeouts on the day.
"I told Rylee if she had started the way she was pitching in the sixth and seventh inning, it would've gone a lot smoother," Salem coach Stephanie Bassett said. "Usually in the fifth or sixth inning they hit her stride. We're still working on it. She's young and those are things were going to continue working on."
Offensively, the Lady Seminoles took advantage of mental errors made by Monroe Area.
In the bottom of the first, Toni Beauchamp reached first base after getting hit on the foot by a Morgan Fambrough pitch. After reaching second on a Taylor Beauchamp sacrifice bunt, she made it to third on a passed ball before scoring on a wild pitch.
"The girls were executing bunts and that's what I expect them to do," Bassett said. "We only had one missed sign which means that they're doing what I'm asking them to do as a coach."
Salem extended its lead to 3-0 on a two-run double by Jessica Vason. Scoring for the Lady Seminoles were Taylor Beauchamp and courtesy runner Kendra Jenkins.
"Jessica is fun to watch. She's really confident in her ability and the girls look to her for offensive leadership," Bassett said.
The final run for the Lady Seminoles came in the fourth inning when Alyssa Essington scored on a Kristen George fielder's choice.
Also getting hits for Salem, besides Vason, were Rogers, Essington, Joy Vason and Okeema Turk.
"We finally started hitting the way that I wanted them to. That's what I knew the girls could do and that's why I've been so frustrated," Bassett said. "I knew they could do it, I've just been waiting for them to turn it on and they did today. I was happy about that."
Manny Fils can be reached at email@example.com.