The Pilot Grove Lady Tigers softball team couldn’t have asked for a better home opener Monday night against the Harrisburg Bulldogs.
After a 2-0 start over the weekend in the Lady Pirate Lead-Off Classic, Pilot Grove rallied behind the no-hit pitching of sophomore Samarah Bailey to beat Harrisburg in five innings by a score of 11-0.
Pilot Grove coach Neal Bailey said the girls are playing well with intent and as a cohesive unit. “We had a good turnout from the community, and I think the girls fed off of that,” Bailey said. “There were only four balls put in play and two of them were bunts, so defensively there wasn’t a whole lot of action, but offensively we hit the ball well with 14 hits.”
While improving to 2-0 on the season, Bailey definitely had it all working Monday night by striking out 12 batters and giving up no runs on no hits and no walks.
Of course it didn’t hurt that Pilot Grove plated three runs in the bottom-half of the first on three straight hits with a lead-off  single by Emily Schupp and back-to-back doubles by Reagan Walker and Melanie Wolfe.
Meanwhile, after a scoreless second inning, Pilot Grove came back to add two more runs in the third on RBI-singles each by Celine Dodson and Reagan McFatrich.
The Lady Tigers weren’t done yet, though. While already leading 5-0 after 3 1/2, Pilot Grove all but made it official in the bottom-half of the fourth by exploding for six runs on six hits to extend the lead to 11-0.
Pilot Grove also pounded out 14 hits against Harrisburg, with Emily Schupp going 3-for-4 with three singles. Reagan Walker was 2-for-3 with a single, double and two RBIs while Melanie Wolfe added one single, one double and one RBI, Reagan McFatrich with two singles and two RBIs, Celine Dodson with two singles and one RBI, Samarah Bailey with one single and two RBIs, Natalie Rentel with one single and one RBI and Marissa Day with one single.
Madelyn Fritts took the loss in the circle for Harrisburg by giving up 11 runs on 14 hits while striking out four batters.