Sarah Phillis admits she prefers pitches coming right down the middle of the strike zone.
The Union Mine senior got her wish in the top of the third inning Tuesday — smacking the ball deep to right field for a home run to tie the Diamondbacks’ Sierra Valley Conference softball game against host El Dorado. She added another round-tripper as Union Mine outscored the Cougars 13-10 in intra-county action.
On the day, Phillis went 4-for-5 with four RBIs and scored three runs.
“The first one was just down the middle,” Phillis said. “On the second (home run) she (El Dorado pitcher Joshlyn Wright) just fed it inside and I smashed it.”
After El Dorado went scoreless in the bottom of the third inning, Union Mine increased its lead to 5-3 in the top of the fourth as Miah Linson reached on an error and moved to second base on a bunt from Madelynn Heape. Linson scored the go-ahead run on a passed ball and Heape came in when Shyanne Winje smoked a double to center.
El Dorado responded in the bottom half to trim Union Mine’s lead to 5-4 as designated hitter Monique Wilson (2-for-4) doubled to left field and scored on Hailey Harkley’s single.
“I’m proud of these girls for coming back,” El Dorado head coach Marci Brown said.
In the bottom of the fifth, El Dorado tied the game without a hit when Trinity Jackson reached first on a fielder’s choice and scored on a passed ball.
Union Mine scored four times in the top of the sixth inning to take the lead for good. Heape (4-for-4) led off with a triple, followed by Phillis’ single and another triple from Carly Stevens (2-for-4). Heape, Phillis, Stevens and Winje, who reached base on an error, scored to make it 10-5. Union Mine finished with 16 hits in the game.
“They hit the ball well today,” Union Mine head coach Rob Diggle said.
The D’backs scored their final three runs in the top of the seventh inning. Along with Phillis’ blast, Winje clobbered a two-run homer that drove in Heape, who had an infield single.
The Cougars clawed back in the bottom of the seventh. Jackson (walk), Deanna Herrera (hit by pitch) and Maria Gadow (walk) loaded the bases and they scored on grounders by Wilson, Ty Henderson, and Harkley’s single.
The game ended when the Cougars hit into a double play.
El Dorado, which had 10 hits in the game, scored its first three runs in the bottom of the third inning as Herrera and Wilson doubled, Henderson singled and all scored on a grounder and bunt single from Katie Harris.
Contact Mike Bush at 530-344-5079 or [email protected] Follow @MBushMtDemo on Twitter.