First Posted: 4/10/2014
As the leadoff hitter, four-year starter Taylor Kelley is responsible for getting the Dallas offense started.
Maddie Kelley, Taylor’s freshman sister, came in as a relief pitcher to stop the Lake-Lehman attack.
Together, the Kelley sisters led the way Wednesday afternoon when Dallas got its Wyoming Valley Conference softball season off to a late start by rallying from a pair of early deficits for a 9-6 victory.
Taylor Kelley launched a two-run homer to left-center field in the second inning to erase the first Lake-Lehman lead. The senior shortstop also played well defensively, including a brilliant play from deep in the hole to start the fifth inning, limiting a Lake-Lehman rally that produced the only run against her sister and cut the Dallas lead to one run.
Lefty Maddie Kelley took over at pitcher in the bottom of the second inning while Lake-Lehman was in the process of moving back in front, 5-4. After hitting a batter with her first pitch, she retired eight in a row.
Maddie Kelly also retired the last eight batters after Lake-Lehman produced its fifth-inning threat, including an RBI double by Jordan Hodle.
Lake-Lehman dropped to 0-3 in the WVC despite its best offensive production of the season.
Taylor Kelley is one of four Dallas seniors in the fourth season as starters. After playing third base as a freshman and second base as a sophomore, she is in her second season as shortstop where she showed excellent range to her right.
“She has worked very hard on that play in the hole,” Dallas coach Joyce Tinner said.
Katy Comitz, an infielder her first two years, starts in left field. She went 3-for-4, stole a base, scored two runs and drove in one while batting third.
Center fielder Sam Missal went 2-for-4 with a double, a run and two stolen bases from the sixth spot.
Abby Berger, a designated hitter as a freshman and now in her third year at first base, drew a walk and had a sacrifice to lead to an insurance run.
The experienced players give Dallas hopes of bouncing back from a 5-9 record last season.
“We lost a lot of close games last year and it’s because we didn’t finish,” Tinner said. “Our goal this year is just to be relaxed and do what we know we can do.
“If we do what we work hard on in practice day in and day out, we should be in every game. Then, we just have to learn how to finish the games.”
The start was rough for Dallas Wednesday.
After Sydney Kern tripled to drive in Comitz, who had singled, in the top of the inning, Lake-Lehman put four of its first five batters on to take a 3-1 lead.
Britney Meeker led off the bottom of the first with the first of her two hits. Jill Ambrose and Hodle had RBI singles.
Ambrose finished 2-for-3 with a sacrifice fly, two runs and two RBI to lead the Lake-Lehman offense. Hodle also had two hits.
Dallas regained the lead in the top of the second on an RBI single by Kelley Snyder and Taylor Kelley’s two-run homer.
When Lake-Lehman loaded the bases with one out in the second, Tinner turned to Maddie Kelley, who had been warming up early.
Tinner said she will often use her two new pitchers, Kern, a junior, and Maddie Kelley in the same game.
Maddie Kelley allowed just two hits while striking out six in 5 2/3 innings. She ended five of the six innings on strikeouts, including two on change-ups.
Kern was a big part of the offense with three hits, including the triple, and two runs scored. Her bunt single in the third put Dallas ahead to stay by drawing the wild throw that allowed two runs to score.
Sadie Trudgen added an RBI triple, a double and a sacrifice for Dallas. Snyder went 2-for-2 and scored three runs.