If hitting is contagious, the A&M Consolidated Lady Tiger softball team caught the bug Tuesday.
Consol pounded out 14 hits against the Waco Lady Lions en route to a 10-0 rout at Lady Tiger Field on Senior Day.
The Lady Tigers strung together five hits in each of the second and fourth innings, leading to seven runs including a four-run fourth that helped Consol close out the game in five innings via the run-rule.
"Sometimes for us, you have to adjust to the pitching," Consol coach Shelley Batson said. "I think sometimes you just have to take your time and be patient, and that's what they did and came out and took care of business."
Consol pitcher Molly McNeill was the beneficiary of the offensive explosion, and she managed to get in on the act herself.
In the circle, McNeill (3-0) gave up just two hits and struck out six over five innings of work. And at the plate, she had two hits, including one of Consol's four doubles.
"Molly did a great job tonight," Batson said. "When you have three pitchers, you don't have that one pitcher that [works] game after game after game, so when they have the opportunity to get on the mound, they have to work through some things. She did a great job."
It took the Lady Tigers' offense some time to get rolling as they adjusted to Waco starter Krysten Czajkowski.
Consol (21-8, 10-3 in 13-5A) scored a run in the first on one hit, an infield single by Katie Hinton. Then in the second, the bottom of the order ignited a three-run rally.
"It's kind of been that way this year," Batson said. "If the top of the lineup is not doing it, then the bottom comes through. It has gotten us to the last part of the year, and now we are stringing [hits] together."
Consol's No. 7 hitter Lauren Burns started things with a two-out double, and Aubree Pierson and Lauren Robinson followed with back-to-back singles. Pierson's drove in Burns. Hinton collected her second hit of the game, and Bailey Schroeder singled to drive in Pierson and Robinson, making it 4-0.
Waco's best chance for a run came in the third when the Lady Lions (6-17-2, 4-9) loaded the bases with one out, but a slick 5-2-3 double play ended the threat.
The Tigers scored two more runs on back-to-back doubles from Courtney Oberg and McNeill, with McNeill's driving in courtesy runner Ashley Heritage. An infield single by Burns also plated McNeill.
In the fourth, the Tiger used five hits to score their four runs. Schroeder and Briana Bishop began the inning with singles, and Oberg doubled to drive them both home. A single by Megan Bohne scored Heritage, who was running for Oberg, and Burns' fielder's choice brought in the final run of the game.
The Lady Tigers will close out the regular season Friday when they travel to Temple to take on the Tem-Cats (10-10, 8-5).
A&M Consolidated 10, Waco 0
Waco 000 00 - 0 2 2
Consol 132 4x - 10 14 2
Krysten Czajkowski, Ashley Northern (4) and Brittney Garrett. Molly McNeill and Courtney Oberg. W - McNeill (3-0). L - Czajkowski. 2B - Czajkowski, Waco; Lauren Burns, A&MC; Oberg 2, A&MC; McNeill, A&MC.
• Tim Schnettler's e-mail address is email@example.com.