Sarah Shevenell’s all-round game sparked a dominant win for the Liberty Hawks softball team.
The junior showed her skills on the mound and at the plate, leading the Hawks to an 18-2 North Sequoia League win against Sierra-Tollhouse on Friday.
Shevenell kicked off the blowout win with a two-run single in the first inning, contributing to the Hawks’ 6-0 start.
Liberty coach Steve Uyeda has seen Shevenell grow physically and mentally in the last couple of years.
“(Shevenell) has finally caught up to her 6-feet size,” Uyeda said. “Everything seems comfortable and coordinated, finally.”
The junior has also felt the difference in herself.
“I worked really hard to get to where I am and I couldn’t have done it without the team I have,” Shevenell said. “These girls pushed me to where I am today.”
The Hawks’ team effort was on full display in the blowout win against Sierra.
Hannah Casner contributed to the Hawks’ fast start with a two-run double to center field, while freshman Desirae Sanchez added another RBI in the first inning.
Shevenell struck out three batters in the second inning to keep Sierra scoreless, then tacked on RBI on her next at-bat to give the Hawks a 7-0 lead.
“Growing, not only height-wise, but also personality-wise, my work ethic has gotten stronger and I really want to thank the coaching team for that,” Shevenell said. “My coordination has gotten a lot better. I’m able to move a lot more, quicker to the ball.”
Lauren Chapman’s RBI gave the Hawks an 8-0 lead in the second inning, while Jaclyn Smith followed up with a two-run triple to make it 10-0.
With Shevenell on the mound in the third inning, Sierra’s Alyssa Rue nailed a two-run home run to give the Chieftains their only runs of the game.
Rue took the mound in the third, but was unable to slow down the Hawks. Rue gave up an RBI to Brianna Burgess and allowed a walk with the bases loaded, leading to another five-run inning for the Hawks.
Liberty freshman Kaley Bow took the mound in the fourth and forced Sierra into another scoreless inning.
The game ended in the fifth inning with Rue getting throw out at first base.
“I was really proud of my team today. They did a really good job,” Shevenell said. “They came up to bat when needed and they hit the ball as needed. We worked in practice at the high-ball thrower and even the slower, she made us battle out there and I’m really proud of them.”
Jaclyn Smith led the Hawks with three hits, while Shevenell totaled three RBIs. Shevenell pitched three innings, allowing three hits and striking out seven. Bowe pitched two innings for the Hawks, allowing one hit and striking out three. The Hawks improved to 14-2 overall, 2-0 in league.
“Our league is gonna be very tough and it’s gonna come down to the last day probably,” Uyeda said. “Everybody can beat anybody on a given day. If we don’t play to our potential, anybody can beat anybody in our league.”