It was like something out of a movie Monday, June 15 as the ADM High School softball team brought out the bats in full force for a season opening victory. The Tigers welcomed in conference foe Ballard to kick off the 2020 season and thanks to a whopping 14 hits, ADM cruised to a 13-6 win, putting their record at 1-0.
Those 14 hits marked one of the highest hit totals in a season opener in ADM softball history and it was an offensive showcase that started early and it began heavy. The power of ADM was on display almost instantly as six of their 14 hits came within the first two innings of play. It was an overall offensive showcase that went right in line with what second year head coach Jodi Doty had in mind.
“To be honest, we’re a bit salty with how things ended last year,” began Doty. “Our goal is to score first and to score often and we can’t do that if we’re not hitting and executing with runners on base. We did that here tonight. With only two weeks of practice, you had to be happy with what these girls did here tonight.”
There was plenty of action early on which included a huge spark from ADM junior Brooke Hickey. The Tiger slugger didn’t hesitate on jumping on the power game, striking a home run on her first plate appearance of the season off of a full count, thus giving ADM their sought after early lead of 2-0. It marked one of the first home runs of the season across the entire state of Iowa and it employed a big change in Hickey’s approach to the plate.
“Last year going into the season I was not patient early at the plate at all,” began a joyful Hickey. “I knew I had to take a couple of pitches and I knew she was working outside and I made sure that I could go right field with it and not try to pull it.”
It marked the start of a very strong night for Hickey who made it on base safely in three out of her four trips to the plate. Offensively, it showed the fruits of what was a heavily worked off-season by the junior and was on full display Monday night.
“It was a lot of patience in the off-season and really getting her to understand how to go right side,” began Doty. “To see that come to fruition is amazing and I’m very proud of her. She’s now an all around threat not just to the right side but to the left side as well. She did a great job here tonight.”
Hickey also performed well out in the field where she had several putouts as well.
From that point on, things would only intensify for the Tigers. ADM wouldn’t let the Bombers catch their breath as they erupted in the very next inning (the second inning) sending seven batters around the base paths to score on four hits. Thanks to a double and another Ballard error, the Tigers ended up ballooning their lead to an 11-0 lead as both teams entered the fifth inning of play. Despite what was overall a very sound performance, there was adversity that met ADM and it came in the top half of the fifth inning where the Bombers stormed back with a five run inning. A big part of that had to do with Ballard lead-off hitter Skylar Rigby. The senior slugger erupted for her first home run of the season as well, and did so with the bases loaded. When all was said and done with the fifth inning, what was thought to be an early dismissal turned into quite the competitive contest at 11-5.
Both teams would tack on some more runs including ADM who added two more runs in the sixth inning thanks to a Sierra Wyant single and a AJ Smith double. Meanwhile Ballard added one more run to their overall tally but in the end, it was the hometown Tigers to take the cake and send the hometown crowd home happy with a 13-6 victory. Overall, eight Tiger batters recorded at least one hit in the contest and four Tiger sluggers recorded at least two hits on the night. Also impressive for the Tigers was the work done by senior star Abbie Hlas inside the circle. Hlas struck out four on the night while leaving five runners stranded on base for the visiting Bombers.
Fans across the ADM landscape also got the chance to see Hlas in the lead-off spot, something new but needed in the eyes of coach Doty.
“It began with a lot of reflecting of what went wrong last year,” began Doty. “I spoke with some great mentors of mine, when she is one of your toughest outs, you need her to turnover in that line up and be that constant threat. Abbie brings a great threat to the lineup.”
Overall coach Doty was pleased with the lineup and the overall outcome that now gives ADM a season opening win for the sixth straight season. Next up for the newly minted 1-0 Tigers will be a road trip as they travel to Jefferson to battle Greene County Tuesday, June 16.