By Gianna Addario
---- — PEABODY — Peabody ace Shelbi Wilson didn’t let yesterday’s first inning against Lynn Classical get to her. After the Rams drove in four runs to start the game, the sophomore right hander went on to record four strikeouts and allowed just one final run to pick up her third win of the season.
The Tanners’ bats came through in the middle innings to finish with a huge 13-5 victory over the visiting Rams.
“We were able get out of the first inning and pick it up,” said Peabody head coach Butch Melanaphy. “You know we started out slow, but it was a big game for both teams. Classical is a hard team to beat, I have so much respect for them and it’s just a matter of we played a little better.
“I told them after first inning to just settle down. We got the bad inning out of the way. I always tell the girls that every team has one bad inning, it happens.”
Peabody (3-0), which was coming off a 14-0 shutout win over Salem on Monday, is the only team left in the Northeastern Conference Large with an undefeated record as Classical came into yesterday’s contest 3-0, but picked its first loss of the season at the hands of the Tanners.
It was a huge third inning for Peabody, which recorded eight runs, including a pair of 2-run homers off the bats of captains Holly Smith and Olivia Brothers. Taylor Dabney and Alex Romano polished off the inning with a 2-run double and a 2-run single respectively.
“It’s nice to know that we can all work as a team,” said Brothers, who reprises her role behind the plate this season. “These past few years have been a little rough, but we’ve worked hard for this. You can’t discouraged because of one inning, so we were able to talk our way through it.”
The first half of the fourth inning proved to be just as strong for the Tanners defensively. First baseman Mikayla Wallace threw out a runner at home, while Brothers turned over the double-play to get the out at third as well and Wilson finished the inning with a huge strikeout.
Brothers hit her second 2-run homer in the fourth, just before Wallace went yard as well to put Peabody up 11-4. Including yesterday’s four home runs, the Tanners have put up seven homers total over the first three games. What’s more is that they’ve outscored their opponents 36-12 in the early part of the season.
“It’s unfathomable, I don’t know how we’ve been doing it,” said Melanaphy. “This is my 17th year here and we’ve never hit seven home runs in a year and now we have seven in three games. I just hope we can keep it up.”
Brothers blasted another two runs in off a single in the bottom of the fifth. She finished 4-for-4 on the day and recorded a team-high six RBI.
“She’s hitting the ball a ton this year,” Melanaphy said of Brothers. “The top six are just smashing the ball everywhere and I’m just hoping the rest of the lineup comes around to, because the hitting gets contagious.
“It feels really good to be where we are now, I just hope we can keep it up.”