Salem beats Rockdale in softball for 5th straight time

Salem’s recent domination of Rockdale on the softball field continued Monday.

Knarhine Bailey drove in four runs and Whitney Lester allowed three singles in a complete game shut out as Salem rolled to a 13-0 victory in six innings in non-region play.

Salem (3-5) won for the fifth consecutive time in the series, including three shut outs, out-scoring its crosstown rival 48-7 during that span. Host Rockdale, which dropped its fourth consecutive game to fall to 2-12, last beat Salem during a two-game sweep in September, 2009.

Salem led just 1-0 before sending 10 batters to the plate in the fourth. The first two batters - Alexis Chisman and Taylor Sparks - reached on a walk and an error by Kelsey Stewart at first and despite shortstop India Davis making a fine diving play on a ground ball to nip Chisman at third, catcher Kaila Gabaree threw the ball down the left field line on a steal attempt and Sparks scored to make it 2-0.

Miasia Mayer was indecisive on Makayla Whitfield’s squeeze bunt attempt and Mayer’s throw was late to the plate for Salem’s third run. After a walk to Kennedy Lester and an infield pop out, Bailey blooped a single in shallow right field that chased home Whitfield and Lester to put the Seminoles up 5-0.

Facing reliever Sidney Driver in the sixth, Salem opened things up as 12 batters came to the plate in a marathon, seven-run frame. An inning after Lane Powell doubled and scored on a sacrifice fly by Lester, Powell had an RBI on an infield single to get the Seminoles going. Salem added four unearned runs, aided by a pair of errors by Davis and a wild pitch, then Lester drew a bases-loaded walk and Bailey capped the scoring with a two-run single.

The onslaught at the plate, which was Salem’s highest scoring output of the season, was more than enough for Lester. The right-hander, one of only three seniors on the roster, surrendered singles in the second (Stewart singled off Lester’s glove and the second base bag), fourth (Driver had a one-out hit) and a bunt hit by Amanda George in the fifth, but otherwise was excellent in securing Salem’s third shut out victory of 2013.

Salem got a run in the top of the first to jump on top. One of the Seminoles’ other seniors, Chisman, started the inning with a line drive double down the left field line. On the first pitch to Sparks, Chisman stole third, then Sparks took the second pitch from Mayer, who started and allowed five runs (four earned) in four innings pitched, and grounded out to shortstop, sending Chisman home for a 1-0 lead.