Lady Tigers cruise past Keene

K.K. Aper pitches two scoreless innings for the win versus Keene. The sophomore led the offense in hits (2) and RBIs (3).

The Lady Tigers might've thought they had it easy against Rio Vista during the 14-3 district opener, but they hadn't seen anything yet.

Glen Rose rode walks, errors and mainly infield hits to a 15-0 run rule over Keene March 12. The Lady Tigers finished with more hits (7-0) and fewer errors (2-4).

"We just wanted to get through it without injuries," said coach Kiel Miller. "We wanted to keep our (hitting) technique and not get lazy - do what we came here to do. For the most part, I thought we did that."

In a game where the Glen Rose offense tallied eight outs, the Keene pitcher issued 11 walks with a hit batter.

K.K. Aper (2 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 2 W, 1 HBP, 3 K) got the win in the circle, while Taya Vasquez (1 IP, 2 K) came on in relief.

"I'm struggling a lot right now with my pitching (accuracy), but my defense is there for me so we didn't have a problem at all," Aper said.

Offensive contributors for Glen Rose included Aper (2 singles, 3 RBIs), Vasquez (single, 2 RBIs), Madi Gibson (single, RBI), Destenie Lewis (single, RBI), Brittany Miller (single), Sabrina Watson (single), Page Green (2 RBIs) and Aubrey Starnes (RBI).

"K.K. just watched the ball and tracked it to her bat," Miller said. "She did a good job, and hopefully it's a confidence builder."

The Lady Tigers weren't sharp in the top of the first with a couple of errors, but Aper struck out three batters - including two with the bases loaded.

"I think we just weren't taking this team very seriously, and we weren't ready to play," Miller said of the errors. "A couple of errors like that will kill you in a normal ballgame, but we were able to work out of it."

In the home first, Glen Rose made it 2-0 with a Vasquez bases-loaded walk (RBI) and an Aper RBI fielder's choice. Keene had a chance to get off the field, but Starnes reached base after a dropped third strike and two runs scored as Keene tried to throw her out. Glen Rose pushed the lead to 6-0 with a Gibson infield RBI single and a Green bases-loaded walk (RBI).

"That was real costly for them," Miller said of the dropped third strike. "We didn't know to take off running, and they didn't know where to throw the ball, so we can continue to work on executing in situations like that. For them, it's their first year to have a program and there is a lot to be learned quickly.

"You have to be careful about your timing when you come off two games like we just played, because the pitchers' velocity will really rise in our upcoming games. We'll work on that in practice and get back in a normal routine. It's hard to take yourself down to that notch and wait on the ball, but Madi got us started off with a good hit."

Aper overcame a walk and a hit batter in the top of the second. Vasquez fielded a groundout at first base, third baseman Miller got a fielder's choice out and then Aper fired the ball over to Miller to pick off a runner. The runner was safe, but actually came off the bag while Miller had the tag still applied.

"You keep the tag on there until the runner calls time or stands up," Miller said. "She released her foot and hand off the bag, and Brittany's tag was still there."

In the home second, the Lady Tigers were more aggressive swinging the bats and the hits picked up. The first four runs were primarily due to Miller (single), Aper (RBI single), Starnes (RBI bunt, safe and second run on error) and a run on a passed ball. The next four runs for a 14-0 lead were mainly due to a throwing error, a Green RBI sac fly, a Lewis single, a Vasquez RBI single and an Aper RBI single.

"I just waited on the ball and tried to hit it hard," Aper said.

"Destenie will come on here pretty quick," Miller said of a player who hit .483 last season. "I think she's been kind of down lately, but her bat will come alive soon."

Vasquez took over in the circle in the Keene third. After Miller tracked down a foul pop, Vasquez fanned the next two batters.

"That was a good catch by Brittany," Aper said. "Any out by the defense is good, because it really helps me when I'm pitching."

After being hit by a pitch and drawing a walk, Watson singled in third home third. Two batters later, a Lewis RBI fielder's choice brought about the run rule (15-0).