The South Side Rams (7-0, 7-0) stayed perfect in their 2017 campaign as they banged out twelve hits in beating the Neshannock Lancers at South Side High School on Wednesday afternoon. Senior SS Hunter Hand led the way offensively, collecting three hits in as many official at-bats, driving home four runs and scoring four runs, including the decisive 11th run in the bottom of the 8-run 5th inning.
The Rams pierced the scoreboard with an unearned run in the 2nd inning when Hand led off the inning with a single. Hand then stole 2B and went to 3B on a single by McKenna Smith. After Makenzie Freeman walked to load the bases, Hand would score on an errant throw to give South Side the 1-0 lead. Hand would then give the Rams a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the 3rd inning when she crushed a Hannah Lash pitch over the left-centerfield wall after a 1-out single by freshman Sydney Payne.
The Lancers would cut the lead to 3-1 in the top of 4th inning. McKenna Smith, who pitched a terrific game for the Rams, walked the leadoff hitter, Margret Russo. Russo was then sacrificed to 2B and took third on fielders’ indifference. Lancer freshman Jess Fehrs would then single into left field to score Russo. But, the Rams’ bats would come alive for eight runs in the fifth inning. Big hits to clinch the game came from Makayla Vance (2-run single) and Hand (2-run single) and Regan Hozak (run-scoring single).
McKenna Smith pitched 5 innings, giving up only three Lancer hits, walked two and struck out nine. Smith also chipped in offensively by going 2/3 at the plate with a run scored. With the win, the Rams extend their lead in Class 2A, Section 4 to two games over Mohawk. The Rams will face Mohawk at home tomorrow afternoon in a section showdown.