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Martins Ferry girls unload on Wheeling CC

T-L Photo/KIM NORTH MARTINS FERRY’S Shelby Thomas, left, is congratulated by Maria Clark and Laci Zinn (3) after hitting a two-run homer Friday against Wheeling Central on Lisa’s Field at the J.B. Chambers I-470 Complex in Elm Grove. The Purple Riders banged out 17 hits in routing the Maroon Knights, 18-4, in five innings.

ELM GROVE — Even the unseasonable cool temperature couldn’t cool off Martins Ferry’s red-hot bats.

The Purple Riders (14-4) pounded out 17 hits in posting an impressive, 18-4, triumph over homestanding Wheeling Central Friday afternoon at chill-filled Lisa’s Field at the J.B. Chambers I-470 Complex.

Included in the 17-hit performance were half-a-dozen doubles and three home runs.

“We’ve some power on this team and we’ve also got some good hitters,” second-year Martins Ferry head coach Jerry Magistro said. “There are still some things we have to work on with our hitting, I know that sounds crazy, but we really do. The girls are starting to learn what we’ve been preaching to them … discipline at the plate.

“A lot of girls want to go up there and swing at the first pitch they see and try to put it over the fence every time with their power, and that’s understanding,” he added. “But sometimes you have to have some discipline and be able to know the difference between a ball and a strike and what pitch you want to drive. They are learning that. We are getting better.”

Martins Ferry led 4-2 after two innings but sent 10 batters to the plate in the third and 13 in the fourth when they blew the game wide-open.

Winning pitcher Lauren McFarland led the hit parade with three singles and a double that drove in a run. Danielle Lude, Shelby Thomas and Ava Doyle all had three-hit games, with Lude knocking in four runs with two singles and a double. Thomas clubbed a single, double and home run to account for three runs. Doyle recorded two doubles, a single and had two RBI from the No. 9 slot. Taylor Bell also had four ribbies with a three-run homer and a sacrifice fly, while Hunter Pollock doubled and homered to knock in a pair.

“All the way through our order can hit,” Magistro added. “They all have power, too.”

McFarland struck out five, walked two and allowed five hits.

Jairka Baylor singled, homered and drove in two runs for the Maroon Knights (0-3). Ashtyn Bowman singled and tripled to drive in the other two runs.

“They’re a good team all-around. Top to bottom,” Wheeling Central (0-3) head coach Buck Davidson said of the Purple Riders.

davidson said his team has struggled out of the gate due to a variety of reasons.

“We lost our senior pitcher in the second inning of the first game,” he said of Maddie LeMasters. “She hurt her knee really bad and we’re a very young team. We’ve got a lot of girls that this is their first year playing. I’m trying to fill holes and trying to find a lineup that works.”

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