Here's what I saw

Layne Ogle, right, gives Great Crossing teammate Cadee Baker a quick scouting report after facing a Woodford County relief pitcher Saturday morning. Ogle and Baker both were instrumental in the Warhawks’ four-game sweep of weekend action, including three wins in the Birds’ Nest Classic at Great Crossing Park.

Four wins in 18 hours looked like business as usual for Great Crossing softball, which has won nine consecutive games while taking down no fewer than three fellow top-25 teams in the process.

No. 20 GC christened its weekend sweep with an 11-0 district rout of Frankfort and a 1-0 thriller over No. 13 Pulaski County in the opening game of the Birds’ Nest Classic on Friday night. They were the Warhawks’ fourth and fifth consecutive shutouts.

Goose eggs weren’t on the menu Saturday morning, but Great Crossing was no less impressive while walloping No. 18 Woodford County, 13-4, and dispatching Dixie Heights, 6-3.

“I’m pleased with where we’re at right now,” GC coach Jeff Portwood said. “We’re beginning to click. We’re hitting better one through nine. Base running is always pretty solid if we get the right ones on.”

GC’s Layne Ogle outdueled Kaylee Strunk of Pulaski in Friday’s crisp nightcap. The Warhawks pushed across the run in the bottom of the third when Brooklynn Booth singled, advanced on Cadee Baker’s sacrifice bunt and a wild pitch and scored on a line drive by Camryn Lookadoo.

Lookadoo was 2-for-3 to lead the Warhawks (10-3). 

Nani Valencia, who belted a home run in the earlier victory over Frankfort, also had a base hit against the Maroons.

Ogle scattered eight hits but didn’t issue a walk and struck out four. Lookadoo turned a double play off a bunt in the final frame, and Ogle buckled down after a single and a GC error with a strikeout to end it.

Pulaski left runners on base in every inning, including a pair each in the fourth, fifth and sixth. 

Strunk matched Ogle with four strikeouts while allowing only four hits.

“Pitching feeds into defense,” Valencia said. “We have Layne’s back, and she has ours. We just lean on each other.”

Great Crossing wasted no time jumping out in the top of the first against Woodford County 

After Lookadoo singled and Delani Sullivan and Valencia drew walks, the latter an intentional pass, Destiney Reed cleared the bases with a double.

The first of two triples by Sullivan led to a 4-1 lead in the third when the Yellow Jackets couldn’t corral Valencia’s fly ball.

Seven runs in the fourth ripped it open. Baker, Lookadoo, Valencia, Ogle, Bianca Ward and Kendall Meade all supplied hits.

“That’s a nice win,” Portwood said. “(Woodford’s) not in the 11th Region anymore, but they’re still a rival.”

Great Crossing used five runs in the top of the third to wipe out a 2-1 deficit against Dixie Heights.

Sullivan doubled ahead of a home run by Ward, her team-leading fourth of the season, that put GC in front. Valencia, Meade and Reed singled in succession to keep the basepaths busy. Booth’s RBI groundout and a passed ball produced additional runs.

With another triple to her credit, Sullivan (2-for-3) was the Warhawks’ lone repeat hitter in the contest. Brenna Parker opened the game in the circle before Valencia slammed the door, retiring the final five hitters, two on strikes.

“Our chemistry is really good this year,” said Sullivan, a sophomore shortstop. “If someone gets down, someone else is there.”

The whitewashing of Frankfort gave Great Crossing a whopping 51-0 advantage on the scoreboard through its first four district games.

Reed and Emma Sutton, making their initial varsity pitching appearances, combined for the five-hit gem. Each struck out a pair. Valencia was 3-for-3 with three RBI and a double in addition to her home run. Lookadoo and Sullivan both were 2-for-3 atop the lineup.

Kal Oakes can be reached via email at sports@news-graphic.com.

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