By Justin Sokeland
BEDFORD – Perhaps the only park that’s too big for Bedford North Lawrence sophomore slugger Sarah Stone is Jellystone.
“Hey, hey, Boo Boo.” Or in this case, when Stone hammered two home runs out of BNL Field on Monday afternoon, it was ‘Hey, hey, boom boom.’
Stone’s two titanic swings, plus a two-run blast from Leona Morron, powered the Stars to a 10-5 win over Linton. BNL (5-2) was originally scheduled to visit Linton, but field conditions there forced an adjustment to the venue. When Stone connects, it doesn’t matter where the fence is cemented into the ground. It’s too close.
Her two-run bomb in the first got BNL rolling, and her solo launch leading off the fifth ignited BNL’s late surge to victory. Morron drove in four runs, combining with Stone for a fearsome power tandem.
Stone, at this point a future Kentucky Wildcat, is a wildcat at the plate, claws out and dangerous, and she’s untamed in spirit, always chattering, always exuberant, at times so excited in the on-deck circle that she went airborne in her enthusiasm.
“I definitely try to keep everybody up,” Stone said. “Be the spark that sparks the fire, It will build momentum on the team. You start it and it keeps going.”
Stone definitely started it, crunching a blast to left on a misplaced change-up. Brynlea Bennett followed with a double, and Morron mashed her homer to right for a fast 4-0 lead.
The Miners (1-4) answered right back, scoring four (all with two outs) in the bottom of the first. Aubrey Walton ripped a two-run triple and Peyton Bland banged a two-run homer to erase the BNL lead.
After the explosive opening, everyone went silent until Stone jolted her second in the top of the fifth.
“I’m looking for my pitch,” Stone said. “I get a lot of junk thrown at me, and most of the time I expect it. But I go up there looking to hit some big bombs, some crowd pleasers.”
“When she gets her pitch, the ball just jumps and goes out,” BNL coach Brad Gilbert said.
Linton’s outfield error allowed two runs in the sixth, and Morron clubbed a two-run double for a 9-4 lead. Both team scored in the seventh (Cassie Rutledge a RBI double for the Stars, Sydney Lockhart a run-scoring single for the Miners).
BNL totaled 13 hits, almost half of those for extra bases. Offense was not necessarily an issue, but four errors were concerning. Morron earned the win in the circle, going 4 innings while striking out 5 and giving up only 3 hits. Zoe Adams worked the final three for the save.
“When we swung at our pitch, the kids hit the ball hard and it carried out,” Gilbert said. “Some of our kids swung at the pitcher’s pitch. We had some bad at-bats, but we had some good ones. For us to play the competition we play, we have to be tough outs.”
Lockhart was 2-for-4 for Linton.
BNL will host Paoli on Tuesday.