The defending Class 3A state champion Rose Bud Lady Ramblers put up three runs in the first inning and never looked back in their 7-3 triumph over Quitman at the Bulldog Sports Complex Friday afternoon, as junior and Missouri commit Joley Mitchell delivered with a solo home run in the fourth frame on a 2 for 2 day at the plate.
Rose Bud’s offense got going after Hope Hartle laced a double into the outfield to bring home Mitchell and senior pitcher Jenna Hipp, while Hartle scored after sister Gracie reached on a fielder’s choice before Quitman turned a double play and got senior first baseman Lauryn Swaffar to pop out to sophomore shortstop Autumn Johnson.
In the bottom half of the inning, the Lady Bulldogs answered with a run of their own after sophomore Gracie Smith, junior Emily Williams, and freshman Kassie Rhodes each got on base after stringing together three straight singles, with senior Josey Bradley bringing in Smith on a fielder’s choice.
Two more scores came for the Lady Ramblers in the second frame thanks to Mitchell scoring Shelbie Walker while Mitchell also reached home plate after Hipp delivered an RBI single for a 5-1 lead, also holding Quitman at bay in the second and third inning, retiring six of seven batters she faced.
Facing two outs in the fourth, Mitchell crushed a pitch over the centerfield fence to give herself her sixth home run in just six games, adding to the guest’s cause to lead 6-1. Senior Aspen Johnson singled and junior Trinaty Ellington walked to provide runners in scoring possession for the Lady Bulldogs, but sophomore Maggie Webb and Autumn Johnson were called out after being thrown out at first base to end the inning.
Rose Bud collected their seventh and final run after Hope Hartle tripled and was brought home on Vaughn’s hit that turned into a fielding error. Quitman showed that they would not go down without a fight, clipping on two runs as Smith doubled home Webb and Smith also finished her round trip on Emily Williams’ base knock, bringing the contest to a close after Rhodes popped out to Mitchell at third base.
Mitchell led the way for the Lady Ramblers at the plate, finishing two for two while driving in two runs and scoring three to go with a solo bomb, as six of her twelve hits on the season have been home runs. Hope Hartle went two for four with two runs and two RBI, while Hipp also ended up going two for four with a run scored. Hipp took the win in the circle, allowing five hits and striking out four in seven complete innings.
Smith paced Quitman (2-1) with two hits and two runs on the day. Rhodes suffered the loss, giving up eight hits and striking out two.
Rose Bud (8-1) traveled to Harding University Saturday, blanking Atkins 10-0 before demolishing Flippin 17-0. Hipp pitched a perfect game against Atkins, and Gracie Hartle followed that up with a perfect game of her own, as the Lady Rambler defense allowed not one base runner in two games. Also, Mitchell found the fences for her seventh moonshot of the young season.