Jackson-Milton bats busy in 16-4 win

Tribune Chronicle / Robert Hayes Megan Fultz of Jackson-Milton slides into third base as Liberty’s Olivia Benson covers.

LIBERTY — Hitting was in abundance Thursday for the Jackson-Milton Blue Jays as they hit the road and beat the Liberty Leopards, 16-4.

Jackson-Milton coach Tricia Bettura credits work off the field for her team’s performance

“We’ve been practicing hitting a lot, so they’ve been doing a great job,” she said. “Once they connect, they hit the ball far.”

The Blue Jays jumped on Liberty quickly with six runs in the top of the first inning. Liberty starter Savanna Houk walked six batters and allowed one hit in 1/3 inning of work. She was pulled for Alize Burgess, who pitched the rest of the game for the Leopards (2-8).

Liberty coach Andrew Wilde explained his team was shorthanded.

Tribune Chronicle / Robert Hayes Spencer Christopher of Jackson-Milton pitches Thursday against Liberty.

“We have a couple of key girls that are hurt,” Wilde said. “We also had National Honor Society induction tonight, so I’m missing four starters there.

“My starting pitcher (Houk) threw two games yesterday. She pitched the last three innings of my varsity game and pitched four innings of junior varsity as well, so she was a little bit exhausted.”

Jackson-Milton shared the wealth as several of its hitters recorded RBIs during the offensive outburst, which included Megan Fultz, Spencer Christopher, Chelsea Williams and Camryn Mitchell, who all had two hits and two RBIs each.

Christopher pitched a complete game for the Blue Jays as she gave up four runs on six hits, but did record four strikeouts. She believes work off the field helps her team.

“I just practice a lot at home on my shed,” Christopher said.

Bettura was pleased with Christopher’s performance.

“She did great today,” Bettura said. “She hit her spots. She threw were she was supposed to and she let them hit the ball and let her defense work.”

Liberty battled throughout the game as Emily Benson recorded four RBIs during the contest, which included a bases clearing triple in the bottom of the fourth inning.

“Every game for us is going to be a learning experience,” Wilde said. “We have three seniors who are definitely our leaders, two of which weren’t here tonight. The rest of us are pretty young, so facing some adversity and being able to battle back is huge for this team. We’re definitely going to learn from that and get better because of it.”