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Panthers put the hurt on MCA
portal web
Portal catcher Faith Reddick catches a pitch from teammate Keri Carter with a could of dust during Tuesday's game against McIntosh County.

    PORTAL — Portal High School racked up a season high 13 hits and got region play off on the right foot with a 14-6 thumping of McIntosh County Academy Tuesday night in six innings.
    “Getting that first region win is huge,” said Portal head coach Travis Motes. “Just like the beginning of an inning, you want to start off with a hit. So did that with region play today.”
    The Panthers found themselves in the middle of a see-saw affair for most of the evening. The game saw four lead changes going into the bottom of the fifth with the game tied at six runs a peice. Freshman Kobie Motes got the inning started with hard hit ball to second, forcing an error to let her reach base safely.
    Senior Dashonda Morgan reached base the next at bat on another error by MCA to put two runners on with no outs. Junior Madison Williams followed by hitting a ball to third that was fielded cleanly, but the throw to second flew past the infielder and deep into right field. Motes and Morgan scored to give Portal the lead at 8-6.
    “When you get your shot you have to roll with it,” Williams said. “It felt good.”
    The floodgates opened up in the bottom of the sixth. Senior Faith Reddick got the inning started with a leadoff triple and came in to score on a hard hit ball to third by senior Faye Ogelsby to extend the lead to 9-6. The ball was bobbled and never fielded properly, resulting in an error on the play.
    The following at-bat Motes singled to put two runners on with no outs — then Morgan smacked a single of her own to load the bases. Williams came back up and singled to right field to bring in Ogelsby and Motes to run the score up to 11-6. Following a walk to load the bases, junior Cassidy Silvis drew another free pass to score the twelfth run for Portal.
    “We had some locked in girls today,” Motes said. “We’ve been working on hitting a lot lately, so it certainly paid off today.”
    Senior Madison Bishop scored the next run via sac fly, then senior Keri Carter singled to bring home sophomore Nakiya Harrington to finish off the Buccaneers. In all, 10 Panthers reached base safely, eight scored at least one run, seven recorded at least one hit and six drove in at least one run.
    Reddick and Ogelsby each had three RBI and a triple to lead the offense. Williams, who didn’t even start the game, drove in two key runs with her only hit of the night. Motes, Morgan and Bishop each scored two runs, while Cater, Ogelsby, Reddick, Motes and Morgan each had multi-hit games. All-in-all, it was the best offensive showing for Portal by a long shot in 2016.
    “It feels awesome to finally run-rule someone,” Williams said. “Normally that’s us on the losing side.”
    Keri Carter pitched a gutsy game, giving up nine hits, six runs and 11 base runners on 88 pitches. Despite getting roughed up in the first four innings, Carter remained poised to finish the game as she has all season for Portal.
    “You just have to keep talking to yourself when you’re getting hit like that,” Carter said. “But when you had the kind of offense we had tonight to back it up, it helped me hit my spots.”
    Portal is back in action tonight as they travel to Liberty County to take on the Panthers at 5 p.m.