ROSEPINE – Early errors by Pickering allowed Rosepine to get out to a big lead, and the Lady Eagles never looked back.
Rosepine scored eight runs in the first inning as it won its second district game of the season, 9-4.
"You couldn't ask for a better start to a ball game," Rosepine head coach Glenn Granger said. "Every player went up there with the attitude to get a good hit. There were a couple of errors that helped us out, but at the end of the inning we got good hits to knock in runs. I just wish we could have played the whole game like that."
Pickering outscored the Lady Eagles 4-1 over the last six innings, but the damage was already done.
"I don't think we played terrible," Pickering head coach Julie Lawrence said. "We had some errors that cost us some runs. You take that inning away, it's a whole new ball game. We're young and have some kinks to works out."
Three straight errors to start the bottom of the first inning loaded the bases to set up back-to-back RBI singles by Peyton Thayer and Amy Roos to make it 3-0.
RBIs single by Ashlynn Smith, Chloe Bennett and Carlie Randle made it 8-0 at the end of the first.
Spring Atkins came in for relief for Pickering and recorded two straight outs to get the Lady Devils out of the inning.
Atkins gave up just one run over 5.2 innings of work and struck out three.
"ShaeLa (Lawrence) pitches a little bit faster, and Rosepine hits well against speed," Lawrence said. "She lacks a little bit of control, but Spring came in, and she doesn't have a lot of speed but a lot of control. We made that change, and it worked to our advantage."
Pickering responded with two runs in the top of the second, and scored Ryen Lawrence scored on an RBI single by Stephanie Ferris to make it 9-3 in the fifth inning.
Pickering scored another run it the top of the sixth, but Rosepine pitcher Chloe Bennett kept the Lady Devils from threatening too much.
Bennett threw a complete game, striking out nine and allowing eight hits.
"She worked hard all summer and into the fall," Granger said. "She worked on a couple of new pitches, and I told her that when you lose a bunch of players like we lost last year – good hitters and good defenders – we can build a team around you. She has that confidence right now. She wants the ball every game."
Rosepine is coming off a state semifinal season but has to replace seven starters, including its whole infield.
Despite all the newcomers, the Lady Eagles are out to a 7-3 start and are a perfect 2-0 in district play.
"We've been averaging over 10 runs a game," Granger said. "That is very impressive for us right now considering the power that we lost last year. The defense is coming around, slowly but surely. Hopefully, by the time playoffs come around, we'll have it where we want it."
Pickering was the No. 13 seed last year in the Class 2A playoffs and are 6-7 this year with four new starters.
"I think we'll be OK in the long run," Lawrence said. "I think I have some girls that are willing to step up and fill some spots that need to be filled.
"I think we just need a little more time, and we'll gel."