The Highland Lady Rebels put together a big third inning and then used a stout performance on the mound from ace Karisa Hendrix to shutout the homestanding Salem Lady Greyhounds 5-0 April 17 in non-conference softball action.
Hendrix had another fantastic stint on the hill for Highland, as she gave up just two hits and one walk while striking out 16 Lady Greyhounds. Hendrix was well on her way to a no-hitter before Salem touched her for a pair of base hits in the home half of the seventh frame.
Salem's Leslie Taylor, too, had a strong showing on the mound, allowing just five Highland hits while walking a pair and fanning nine in seven innings of work.
The Lady Rebels scored all five of their runs, the only runs of the afternoon, in the top of the third, taking advantage of some costly Salem miscues along the way.
Taylor struck out the side in the top of the second and then Hendrix pulled the same trick in the bottom of the frame with three straight Ks.
Highland got going in the top of the third thanks to a hard hit to center from Jessica Sellers that glanced off a glove in the outfield and fell to the ground, with Sellers ending up at second.
After a fielder's choice recorded the first out of the frame, Hendrix reached base on a Salem error and then Katheryn Bobo bunted safely to load the sacks for Highland.
Natalie Culver came up big with an infield hit that was misplayed, bringing in a pair of runs on the error. Then Alison Price got on board thanks to another infield throwing error, bringing in another pair of runs for Highland.
Kristen Ellis finished the damage for Highland with a hit up the middle of the box that plated Price, giving the Lady Rebs a 5-0 lead. And that was plenty of run support for Hendrix.
She struck out nine of the next 12 batters she faced, keeping Salem from fashioning a rally.
The Lady Hounds did break through with back-to-back hits in the bottom of the seventh, one from Laci Long and the other from Taylor, spoiling Hendrix' bid for a no-hitter, but the Lady Rebels won the contest 5-0.