Brooklyn Ellis gave up just two hits and struck out 14. That type performance has usually been good enough to give Hilldale a win.
And it was again Tuesday as the Hornets blanked Locust Grove 5-0 for its sixth straight win. And although its been 10 days since she last took the circle, she stretched her consecutive shutout streak to 33 innings — interrupted only by one relief inning by Emma Noe, also a shutout inning —all extending to six games on both Senior Day and the regular season home finale.
The 14 strikeouts were a season-high for Ellis.
It was a boring day for Hilldale’s outfield, which only caught flies in practice.
But Lady Hornets coach Darren Riddle is still looking for that complete groove.
Four errors, all in the infield, and a modest seven hits, were also part of it. The only multi-hitter was in the nine-hole in Bailey McClain.
“(Ellis) was great in the circle,” Riddle said. “We had a couple of hits here and there but some bad at-bats too. And the errors. We’re trying to strike people out but sometimes you have to pitch to contact when someone is up there competing at the plate. And when you’re doing that, you have to make plays.
“It’s been 10 days since we’ve been out here. We’re still young and still trying to find some things out, but win or lose, you expect to play hard. But that’s on me and we’ll get it worked out one way or the other.”
Hilldale got two runs in the second and three in the fourth.
Rylin Clark reached on an infield error in the second, scoring Landrie Sloan. McClain then singled to left to score Clark.
In the fifth, Sydney Sapulpa got a run home on an infield single and then McClain singled to score Sapulpa. Up next, Riley Bernoskie, one of two seniors recognized on Senior Day, doubled down the left field line to score McClain.
Not one inning did the miscues cause a real threat. They were in each situation the only baserunner that inning. Ellis, meanwhile, retired the side in the fourth and fifth, striking out the side in the fourth.
Corianna Hayes was the other Hilldale senior recognized. She was 0-for-1.
Hilldale (11-3, 8-1 4A-6) plays at Bixby on Thursday then heads south for the Durant Tournament on Friday before returning to district action Monday at Fort Gibson. They also have games remaining at unbeaten Verdigris Sept. 27 and at Stilwell Sept. 28.