Ariel Andrews made sure to show her appreciation for the many Senior Night gifts and honors lavished on her prior to the start of Thursday night’s home game against the Port St. Joe Tiger Sharks.
She said thank you in the best way she knew how, by blasting a three-run homer in the bottom of the second inning that provided all the runs needed for the Seahawks to down the Tiger Sharks 6-2.
Typically wielding the bat as a left-hander, where as a slapper her hits are more for placement than power, Coach Scott Collins let Andrews bat from her natural position as a right-hander, where the 5-foot 6-inch centerfielder can put more oomph on the ball.
And oomph she put, blasting a pitch well past the center field fence that scored seventh grader Lilah Millender, who had reached on a fielder’s choice, and freshman Ryan Brown, who had advanced her on a base hit.
Andrews’ blast wrapped up a five-run inning, and followed earlier runs, the first by sophomore Taylor Mallon, who had singled and then was driven home by a line-drive double by eighth grader Lexi Webb down the third base line.
Webb then scored when freshman Charity Larkin grounded out to the shortstop, giving Webb a chance to scamper home.
Andrews’ home run prompted Tiger Shark coach Lissa Walker to replace eighth-grader Brooklyn Bishop with freshman Addy Silcox.
Silcox allowed the Seahawks an unearned run in the bottom of the third, but that was it, while walking three and striking out one the rest of the way.
Seahawk freshman Sarah Ham pitched a seven-inning complete game, giving up three hits, striking out 11 and walking four. Those walks helped lead to two Port St. Joe runs in the top of the seventh, scored by junior Kali Austerman and Bishop, who went 2 for 2 on the night, with one double.
The Seahawks were led by Taylor Mallon, who went 2 for 2 and scored 2 runs; Brown, who went 2 for 4 and scored a run; and sixth grader Addyson Mallon, who went 2 for 3.
The win gave the Seahawks a second-place regular season conference record of 5-2, and lifted their overall record to 9-7.
The Tiger Sharks finished 1-5 in the conference, and now have an 11-8 overall record.