It might be time for opposing coaches to begin thinking about giving Bailey Douglas the Barry Bonds treatment.
During Bonds’ 73 home run season in 2001, if he was not seeing pitches which looked like volleyballs, he was being issued intentional walks. Batting in the three-hole for the Lugoff-Elgin softball team, Douglas sent out home runs six and seven of the season --- while just missing a third --- as the Lady Demons dismantled host Camden, 17-1, in a game stopped after four innings Saturday morning at Marcus Warren Memorial Field.
Douglas clubbed a two-run shot to left in a four-run L-E first, walked in the third before sending another two-run shot into the trees in deep left center later that inning. An inning later, her moon shot to left clanged off the fence for a two-out double as she just missed the homer hat trick.
“She’s seeing the ball like it’s a beach ball,” said interim L-E head coach Katie Ham who is filling in for the remainder of the season after first-year head coach Savannah Starling gave birth to a daughter last Monday. “That’s what we want to see, especially now that we’re in the middle of region play. Our bats have really started to come around, which is good.”
The win was the seventh in 10 outings for the 5A Lady Demons who pounded out 16 hits in a win in which they went in order in the second. Douglas had three of those while Emily Vinson and Hailey Mock also were members of the three-hit club.
For Camden, which was coming off an 18-hit night in a 17-9 thrashing of A.C. Flora on Thursday, the hostesses managed scoring a run off two hits against L-E starter Emma Spradley, who fanned four.
Exiting from her team’s locker room following a lengthy post game meeting, CHS head coach Lynn Looney said all her team could do after this game was move forward and learn from it.
“Lugoff-Elgin is a solid, solid team,” she said. “They play great defense and, of course, they have solid hitters. We just need to clean up our play. We had too many errors today.”
The visitors scored four times in the first with Vinson’s one-out single coming in front of the first Douglas round-tripper. With two gone, Kaley Goerlich doubled to center. She scored on Mocks single to left. Mock made it 4-0, coming around from second on Spradley’s RBI single through the box.
The roof caved in on Camden in an eight-run L-E third in which the visitors sent 11 batters to the plate.
Douglas opened things by drawing a walk and circling the bags on Grace Holland’s double to left. Mock then singled home Holland with the sixth run in a frame in which Jenna Breach sent a two-run single to right on which an error allowed her to circle the bags to extend the lead to 9-0. A Vinson single plated Kellee Branham, who got aboard on a walk, before Douglas’ no-doubter made it 12-0.
Camden got to Spradley for a run in the third as Maddie McNeill led off with a double to the fence in left, took third on a wild pitch before scoring on Joy Beck’s sac fly to right.
“We were putting runners on base, but we just couldn’t get them around,” Looney said of her team having seen runners on the base paths. “We had mental errors which hurt us. We didn’t do our job.”
The Lady Demons answered by hanging up a five-spot in the fourth with Branham plating two runs with a one-out double in an inning in which L-E used a Camden error, two passed balls and a wild pitch to push the lead to 16 runs.
Ham said in spite of the one-sided nature of this contest, her team made a few mistakes which they can work on.
“We can still learn from some of the throws we made from our outfield today; some of the overthrows and not throwing in front of the runner. Some little things like that,” she said. “It’s nice to see different pitching speeds. Today, we saw a lefty (McNeill) and a righty (Jolie Clyburn.) That’s great for us to see in the batter’s box and having to make adjustments during the game.”
Looney, whose team starts an entirely new infield, said the Lady Bulldogs are a work in progress.
“They’re working hard and they are committed to the team, which is what we need,” she said. “In the long run, this will make us a better team. Nobody likes to lose this big, but when we play good competition, it’s going to make us better.”
Ham said the Lady Demons are hitting their stride as she and the team seeks to build on the culture which Starling implemented before going on maternity leave.
“We’re going with what she started in the preseason,” Ham said. “She wants the girls to be disciplined, she wants them playing hard and seeing the ball and being aggressive at the plate. That’s what we’re doing.”