At the beginning of the season, Plainview’s offense wasn’t as sharp as coach Tim Wade would have liked.
“There was a lot of undiscipline and chasing and mental stuff like that,” he said.
The power that Plainview’s lineup hit with during Monday’s 12-2 win in six innings over Dickson at Lady Indians Softball Field showed those struggles are now in the past.
Well before the onslaught took hold, Dickson brought good energy to the field in the early going.
Kelsie Allen lined an RBI single that dropped less than a foot in front of Plainview center fielder Brooklyn Bloomfield in the first inning for a 1-0 lead.
Plainview senior ace Hanna Beth Matherly settled down after the shaky start and held Dickson (2-4, 1-1) to just one base runner over the next four innings.
It was her velocity that stood out Monday afternoon.
Matherly, who was limited to 10 games a year ago due to mono, struck out eight and yielded four hits with three walks.
“It is a whole lot better,” Matherly said. “My speed has increased tremendously. I’m very happy about that.”
Shanna McKown drew a bases-loaded walk in the sixth to account for Dickson’s second run.
“We’ve had a few of those this year where we start really well, got good energy and good intensity and then it kind of spirals where it just doesn’t go our way at all,” Dickson coach David Gardner said. “We’ve got to find a way to put together a full ball game. Offensively, defensively, on the base paths.
“We’ve got to find a way to put together a full ball game against good competition. I feel there is a lot of improvement that we have got to make in a pretty quick manner if we’re going to be able to compete with people in our district. Bottom line is I’ve got to coach better and put these girls in better situations to succeed.”
Plainview received a brief scare in the home half of the first.
Junior standout shortstop Sami Skelly limped on her left foot as she rounded the first-base bag, an injury that occurred after she hit a single up the middle. She walked off the injury and remained in the game.
The Lady Indians offense was only warming up. Halee Womack singled into right-center field to knot the score at 1-1. Matherly followed with a two-run triple that she lined just under the glove of Dickson right fielder Savannah Hunley, for a 3-1 Plainview lead.
“Everything was clicking actually before this game,” Matherly said. “We knew that this pitcher was going to throw a lot of out balls. Honestly, coach Wade just kept telling us, ‘hands, hands, hands, hands,’ and it just clicked.”
It was a team effort up and down the lineup for Plainview, which finished the game with 14 hits, led by a 4-for-5 performance from Skelly.
Keith had a double and a single. Matherly contributed two triples.
Brooklyn Storts added two doubles for the Lady Indians (6-2, 1-0) who won their fifth game in a row and their opener in District 4A-1 play.
“This past weekend, we really made things start to click with our hitting, and hitting the ball hard,” Skelly said. “We might not always get on but we’re at least going to put it in play and make them work. That’s what I’m really proud for about my teammates.”
Wade agreed with Skelly’s sentiments.
“Momentum-wise, we’ve got the ball rolling,” Wade said.
Plainview scored at least one run in every inning.
Leah Selensky clubbed an opposite-field double in the bottom of the sixth to put the run rule into effect.
Matherly says Selensky’s hit was a by-product of one extra hour that she put into batting practice with her father Ken Selensky following the conclusion of the Chisholm Trail Classic in Shawnee.
“Everyone left, we were all exhausted and she stayed here and hit,” Matherly said.