BUFFALO — Monday’s landslide win by Class A No. 2 Buffalo over No. 6 Charleston Catholic saw a pair of events that were a long time in coming for Bison senior Chelsey Parkins.
Parkins, a three-time All-State selection and finalist for the 2013 state Player of the Year award, smacked her first home run since her freshman year in the 10-0, three-inning rout at Buffalo High School, but the bigger item of importance was enjoyed on a team level, she said.
“We’ve been due to hit. We’ve struggled the past few games with hitting,” said Parkins, who went 2 for 2 with a double and four RBI while throwing a three-inning no-hitter and striking out six in facing the minimum from Catholic’s lineup.
Parkins homered in the first and doubled in the second, with her two-bagger part of a seven-run inning that set up a 1-2-3 third to close the game in just 38 minutes.
“Whenever we’re hitting the ball, me and Ali don’t have as much pressure on us,” Parkins said, referencing Buffalo co-ace pitcher Ali Burdette, who got the ball for the Bison’s nightcap against Sherman later Monday evening.
While Buffalo (2-5) pounded out 10 runs on eight hits against Catholic (10-1) starter Talia Corbett, only two of the runs were earned. The Irish committed four errors in two innings in the field.
“I’ll tell you right now, we needed to generate something,” Buffalo coach Darrell Moore said. “When you play a lot of good teams and don’t win, morale gets down a little bit. When you get a good jump on a team it makes you feel a lot better.”
Buffalo is the three-time defending Class A state champion but has found wins hard to come by in the early going of the 2014 season. The Bison had dropped games against Class AAA No. 4 Lincoln County and Point Pleasant, Class AA No. 2 Sissonville and No. 8 Scott as well as to Class A No. 3 Sherman entering this week’s schedule.
“With that kind of outburst, it’s just like starting over,” Moore said.
The second began with Taylor Briscoe, the No. 8 hitter in the Bison lineup, reaching on an error. Paige Roush followed by reaching on a fielder’s choice that failed to retire Briscoe at second, and leadoff hitter Katie Higginbotham then reached on an infield single to load the bases.
Parkins followed with a double down the right-field line that bounced just over the outstretched glove of Irish first baseman Christina O’Dell. Burdette then walked to re-load the bases before Chase Christy reached on another fielder’s choice that failed to record an out, but this time scored Higginbotham.
Noell Dingess then singled in Parkins and Katie Allen brought home courtesy runner Shelby Turley with a groundout to shortstop. Dingess scored when Courtney Allen reached on an error one batter later, ending the scoring.
For Parkins, the two-year homer drought came on a pitch she said was right down the middle.
“I had eight my freshman year then never hit another one until today,” she said.
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