By Nick Hampton
PARK HILL – For Hilldale coach Darren Riddle, the day was all about discipline at the plate.
And his Lady Hornets showed plenty of that as Class 4A’s No.1 ranked team pounded out 12 hits en route to a 12-0 run-rule victory over Keys (10-16) in Park Hill on Monday.
After placing third at last weekend’s Oologah Tournament, Riddle was a little disturbed about his team’s lack of plate discipline in some cases.
“We didn’t have great at bats all weekend which was a little disappointing,” said the Hilldale coach. “It was good to see us come out today and have good plate discipline against a pitcher who had some pretty good speed. Destiny (Riddle) pitched well and hit her spots and we got people on and drove runs in so I was pleased with how we played.”
Hilldale (25-3) went to work early, batting around in each of the first two innings while scoring 11 of their 12 runs. Casady Mills, Sarah Hughey and Destiny Riddle, the coach’s daughter, all went two-for-three in the four inning game and each drove in a pair of runs.
And, oh by the way, Destiny Riddle pitched another no-hitter with a walk in the final inning being the only thing that prevented it from being another perfect game. She’s had multiple no-hitters on the season, though neither she nor her dad were really knew exactly how many.
“I don’t keep track of them,” said Destiny Riddle, now 20-2 on the year. “I think we’re playing pretty well so far, but I don’t think we’ve played to the best of our ability yet. We want to win state. That’s the main goal and that’s what I’m looking towards and not so much about my pitching stats. We’re focused on taking state as a team and we want it.”
The win sets the stage for a matchup between two of the top three schools in Class 4A as the top ranked Lady Hornets host No. 3 Fort Gibson at 4:30 p.m. today at Hilldale’s field. The two teams have split a pair of games so far this year with Hilldale winning a 1-0 affair in late August and Fort Gibson returning the favor last weekend with a 3-0 win in the Oologah Tournament semifinals, propelling the Lady Tigers tournament championship. For the Hilldale coach, though, it’s pretty much just another game.
“It’s not a coaching cliché, but we look forward to every game,” said Riddle. “The season doesn’t end tomorrow if we lose. But it is an important game, it’s a conference game and so hopefully we win. But if we don’t, it’s not the end of the world.”
And after losing that 3-0 game to Fort Gibson on Saturday, does Destiny Riddle feel like she picked up some tips that might help her beat the Lady Tigers this time out?
With an impish smile she just said “Yea, I think I did.”