During this 12-1 start to the season for Oneonta High’s softball team, two things have become clear: Brieanna Baker can pitch and the Yellowjackets’ lineup can hit.
Baker, a sophomore, struck out 14 and walked three while scattering eight hits, and Brianna Haines, Shelby Cleaveland and Amy Hait had two hits apiece to lead host OHS to a 9-2 Southern Tier Athletic Conference victory over Susquehanna Valley on Saturday.
OHS finished with 10 hits, including doubles by Cami Cleaveland and Hayley Dower, and triples by Hait and Baker.
The Yellowjackets have scored nine or more runs in a game six times this season.
“It’s a combination of things,” OHS coach Randy Brockway said. “We’re doing a weightlifting program and I think we’re stronger and older. We’re hitting the ball real well. Even our lefties in the past have had a tough time getting the ball out of the infield, but now we’re getting good shots to the outfield.
“It’s exciting we’re hitting the ball as strong as we are,” he continued. “It’s a combination of small ball and long ball. In the past, we were not a team that could put that many runs up. We’re just a balanced lineup one through nine.”
The Yellowjackets benefited from Sabers errors to score three times in the first inning to take a 3-0 lead. Hait had an RBI single in the inning.
“Amy is working herself up in the order,” Brockway said of Hait, who had two RBIs and scored twice. “She’s making good contact. She’s a strong kid with a good eye.”
The Yellowjackets earned their second win this season against an SV squad that ended OHS’ season a year ago with a 4-3 victory in a Section Four Class B semifinal. The first time the teams met, OHS won, 6-1.