MONUMENT - Having two outs proved very comfortable for Discovery Canyon on Wednesday afternoon as the Thunder stayed unbeaten in the 4A Pikes Peak Athletic Conference with a convincing 13-2 victory at Palmer Ridge.
Through the first five innings, seven of Discovery Canyon's 10 runs and 11 of its 16 hits had come with two out. Conversely, Palmer Ridge had no runs and only two hits with two out.
“I think they did a great job executing today with two outs,” Discovery Canyon coach Tanya Ramsay said. “Those are big hits.
“Yesterday at practice we worked on hitting with runners on second and third. That was fresh on our kids' minds – not just with runners in scoring position but with two outs, we still have an opportunity to be successful.”
There was no shortage of success for the Thunder. Kaydee Valliere had four hits, while Shelby Hetzel, McKenzie Peters and Molly Turner each had three. Peters had an RBI double and a three-run home run, a long blast to center field in the fifth inning that blew open a relatively close 6-2 game.
“Coach gave me a hit-and-run,” Peters said. “On a sign like that I just wanted to swing as hard as I could. I did and it turned out even better than expected.”
While the offense was scoring in every inning but the second, Discovery Canyon also got clutch pitching by McKenzie Surface, who helped her cause with a two-run homer in the fourth inning. Palmer Ridge got the leadoff batter on base in each of the first five innings, but were only able to get them home in the first two.
“When runners are on, I tell myself that I really need to buckle down, breathe, get through it,” Surface said. “It was a really pumped-up game and I was getting that energy.”
Surface allowed two runs, one earned, on six hits in her six-inning complete game.
At 4-0 (12-2 overall) Discovery Canyon remained the only unbeaten team in its league. Palmer Ridge slipped to 3-2 in league play and 11-4 overall.
The Thunder scored three times in the first inning as Destiny Lackey's fly ball down the right-field line fell just beyond the reach of Bears second baseman Ciara Richardson to score two. Peters followed with an RBI double that scored Lackey.
An RBI single by Hetzel in the third and Surface's two-run shot in the fourth made it 6-2. Peters' shot capped a four-run fifth that put the game out of reach. A four-run sixth brought the run rule into effect, ending the game after Palmer Ridge blanked in the home half of the inning.
“We always talk about playing DC ball and I think that's what we did today,” Ramsay said. “We put the defense together, the offense was there and obviously our pitching was there.”
And so was coming through with two out.