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Shark softball walks over Bell in five

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By Jenna McKenna

Lady Sharks middle school softball made their fortune at the plate Tuesday, waiting out the battery against Bell as they walked to a 14-4 win in five innings.

Cedar Key led from the first inning, turning an error by Bell into a one-run lead. A big inning in the third boosted them to an 11-0 advantage, and a shortened game seemed certain. However, the Bulldogs chipped, getting two runs in the fourth and two in the top of the fifth, narrowing the score to 13-4 and seeming to head off the 10-run rule, at least for the moment.

When the Sharks came to bat in the bottom of the fifth, though, they were ready to shut the door. Leadoff batter Molly Gordon worked a full-count walk and stole second. Cameron Lumley moved her over with a single. Gordon scored moments later, ending the game at 14-4.

Baserunning and defense were big for the Sharks, as only one hit - Lumley's - contributed to Cedar Key's scoring. The rest of the runs came off walks and errors by Bell.

Pitcher Miranda Haire had eight strikeouts and allowed one walk on the night, and the defense behind her was good, with only two errors contributing to scores. The steady rain, which was amplified to a deluge in the fifth inning, made no difference to the fielders.

"We had a good night at the plate," said Sharks head coach Aaron Haldeman. "We played good defense, too. We had some good plays early, and made a couple of middle school mistakes late in the game."

Haldeman was very pleased with the way the team was shaping up so far this season.

"They work hard and pay attention," he said. "We're learning a lot of valuable skills. They've shown an excellent attitude toward practice."