By Brian Paglia
Morrow had dominated Creekside over two weeks ago with its starting lineup. So Mustangs softball coach Candice Jones knew Monday's game against the Seminoles would be a perfect opportunity to let her inexperienced players get some playing time and refine their skills.
But even with some key starters resting on the bench, the outcome didn't change. Morrow took advantage of an error-prone Creekside team and got timely hitting to take a 29-9 victory in three innings over the Seminoles.
"We beat [Creekside] 23-2 last time," Jones said, "so we knew we were going with some subs [Monday]."
Creekside took a 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning as Morrow pitcher Kenisha Patrick, normally the Mustangs' starting center fielder, walked four Seminoles in the inning and gave up a two-run double.
But Morrow (11-2, 3-1 in Region 4A-AAAAA) erupted for 16 runs in the first inning, and that doesn't even begin to explain Creekside's ineptitude.
The Mustangs scored 14 runs in the first inning before Creekside recorded its first out.
Nine Mustangs drew walks. Four were hit by pitches. Nine scored on either a passed ball, Creekside error or wild pitch.
It was sophomore catcher Chelsea Showers' towering triple to left field that brought in Andrasa Scott and Patrick that tied the game at 3-3. After senior shortstop Ebony Cross brought in Showers with a grounder past the shortstop, the next nine Mustang batters either drew a walk or were hit by a pitch.
It was more of the same in Morrow's bottom half of the second.
Patrick led off the inning with an inside the park home run that made it 17-5. The Mustangs went on to score 12 more runs thanks to a litany of Creekside miscues: four walks, three hit batsman, three errors and three wild pitches that led to runs.
Morrow led 29-5 by the time all the turmoil ended.
Jones rested her entire outfield, inserting juniors Mercedes Wright and Amber Allsop-Lynch, and freshman Montisha Johnson into the lineup.
But they got little worthwhile experience. Wright walked once and was hit by pitches three times. Allsop-Lynch walked once, was hit by pitches twice and struck out but reached first on a passed ball third strike. Johnson went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts and was hit by a pitch.
Patrick started in place of senior Kandis Banks. Patrick gave up nine runs on four hits and nine walks while striking out three in three innings of work.
The win was Morrow's sixth in its last seven games and its seventh victory by more than 10 runs, a run of success that is unprecedented in the fast-pitch era of Morrow softball.
"It's been a great, great, great season so far," Jones said. "It's probably the greatest season in the history of Morrow."