They didn’t expect to swing it this well this early.
But much to their liking, the Billings Central Rams have teed off against all comers through the first two weeks of the softball season.
Central struck again Thursday afternoon at Stewart Park, rapping out 10 hits in a 14-0 victory over Eastern A rival Miles City. The game was shortened to five innings due to the 10-run rule.
“We’ve been working on our hitting a lot. It’s been paying off,” said Central slugger Michaela Jacobson. “Obviously, we hit really well.”
Jacobson led Thursday’s charge with a double, a triple and five RBIs. Her two-run double down the left-field line opened the floodgates to an eight-run second inning.
Another second-inning dagger came from the bat of Ashley MacDonald, whose sharp single eluded left fielder Caitlin Shipp and cleared the bases to make the score 5-0.
Sarah Stringari also doubled in the inning, and the Rams benefitted from a pair of Miles City errors.
Before the season began, third-year Rams coach Coleman Rockwell suspected his team might take awhile to come around at the plate.
That hasn’t been the case.
“We’ve really stressed hitting early, and that’s been kind of our mainstay for practicing hard,” Rockwell said. “We got off to a good start. That’s what we’ve been doing on these early wins — hitting. So far it’s been successful.”
Central added four runs in the third inning as Jacobson delivered a two-run triple and as catcher Amanda Tryan hit a run-scoring single.
Starting pitcher Alexa Rockwell earned the victory in the circle for the Rams, allowing three hits while striking out nine.
“Central is young, but they’re solid,” said Miles city coach Dan Ries, whose three-year-old program is still in its infancy. “Alexa did a great job on the mound and stopped our bats from the start.”
Tryan and Sarah Shaw each had two hits for Central. Shaw tripled and scored in the third inning.
Baylee Hrubes, Jena Stratton and Savannah Hill had hits for the Cowgirls.
The Rams, who upped their record to 4-0, host arch rival and conference foe Laurel Saturday afternoon at Stewart Park.