An offensive explosion took place at the corner of Ash Ave. and Mt. Olive Rd. Thursday evening and when the dust settled on a warm spring day, the only thing left was a 30-5-1 softball team.

The fourth-ranked Gardendale Rockets pummeled Class 5A No. 10 Moody with 18 hits, including eight extra-base hits and four home runs during a 13-2 home win. The action was called short in the sixth inning when junior outfielder Abbie Waters doubled home two runs, enacting the 10-run rule.

Waters logged a 5 for 5, three-RBI effort at the plate. Infielders Carlee McCondichie and Kailey Vaughn both homered and went 3 for 4.

McCondichie brought an end to a five-run third inning with an RBI triple—an absolute rocket to the fence in right field—that gave Gardendale a 9-2 advantage. Catcher Sarah Beth Brake started the frame with a one-out double into the left-field corner and designated hitter Riley Phillips pushed three more runs in with a shot to dead centerfield.

Brake went 2 for 3 with a double and a home run.

Moody took advantage of an error in the first inning and jumped out front 1-0. The Rockets answered with two runs in the home-half after Waters singled over the shortstop’s head and McCondichie cleared the wall in right centerfield. The Blue Devils evened it back up at 2-2 thanks to another error in the second, but Vaughn saved further damage when she gloved a hot-shot down the third-base line.

Gardendale head coach Barry Brake met his defense out in front of the dugout after Vaughn’s quick stab, which stranded three Blue Devils on base. His message was well received, as the Rockets outscored Moody 11-0 from that point forward.

Senior right-hander Kaitlyn Clark held the visitors to two runs on two hits in four innings. She left the ball for junior lefty Preslie Ross in the fifth. Ross handled things from there, striking out three batters in two shutout innings.

Erik Harris is the sports editor for The North Jefferson News. He can be reached at sports@njeffersonnews.com

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