The Alcovy softball team had one of their more solid performances Thursday in a five-inning 9-0 run-ruled victory over Region 4-AAAA foe Dutchtown at Tiger Field.
The Lady Tigers' (8-3 overall, 3-0 region 4-AAAA) were on fire at the plate and their defense played errorless ball when needed.
Dallas Hardin took the mound for the home team, striking out six batters and walking none. She used her curve ball, set up by her rising fastball, to keep the Lady Bulldogs (4-2-1 overall, 0-3 Region 4-AAAA) off balance during the entire contest.
Dutchtown came up in the top of the first inning and Hardin wasted no time serving notice to the Lady Bulldogs of how it would be the entire game.
Hardin led off the bottom of the first with a single to left field before Melody Belcher followed suit with a single up the middle to move the runner to second.
After the next batter popped out to third for the first out of the inning, Johnna Bagley stepped up with two runners on and singled deep to right field, plating runners across and the giving Lady Tigers a 2-0 lead going into the second inning.
Dutchtown came up in the top half of the second inning still baffled by Hardin's curve as the Lady Tigers again, set the Lady Bulldogs down in order.
Alcovy went down in order in the second inning before Hardin returned the favor in Dutchtown's half of the inning.
Harding kept it going in the top of the third inning as she sent the Dutchtown batters back to their seats with the lumber on their shoulders.
Alcovy got back into the swing of things in their half of the third when Amber Melton led off with a double to center field then later scored on Bagley's second hit of the game.
Kelsey Sweat laid down a perfect bunt to score another run before Jasmine Tolen singled another run across. The Lady Tigers added one more run on a sacrifice fly and Alcovy led 6-0 going into the fourth.
The fourth inning was the same old story for Dutchtown as they drug their bats back to the dugout in order.
Hardin led off the fourth inning for the home team with a single to deep left field and took second on a throwing error by the left fielder.
After a groundout, Melton and Bagley put together back-to-back doubles. But the Lady Tigers couldn't get the runners in, leaving two runners on at the close of the inning.
Alcovy kept the pressure on in the fifth inning as Tolen singled and came in to score after Williams tripled to the center field fence. Hardin made another trip to the plate and connected on a single to right before Belcher made her contribution with a hard hit single to left, bringing Hardin in for the score and the umpires evoked the run-rule to end the game.
Hardin was spectacular on the mound and at the plate as well going 3-for-4 while Melton had a special outing going 3-for-4 with three doubles.
"It was good to see Amber (Melton) have a good outing because she's been struggling lately," Alcovy head coach Casey Bates said. Dallas (Hardin) is our number one pitcher and she proved why today."