Ruckel Rams walk away with win

Tina Harbuck
Destin's Miranda Treadway rounds third base after smacking a triple to right center in the second inning. Coach Brittany Cahoon holds her at third.

The Ruckel Rams walked away with a 17-2 win over the Destin Marlins in the Okaloosa County Middle School Softball Championship game in Niceville Monday afternoon.

“They played a tough game,” Ruckel Coach John Olson said of Destin.

“But they walked a lot of batters,” he said.


Savannah Rockwell and Maddie Phillips shared pitching duties for the Marlins. Rockwell walked 10 and hit six batters, while Phillips walked six and hit two batters.

“It was fortunate for us, but not so fortunate for them,” Olson said.

Ruckel’s pitcher, Mikhala Hampton faced nine batters, struck out six, walked one and gave up one hit.

“She’s a great pitcher,” Olson said of the eighth grader.

In the first inning, Hampton sat Destin down on two strikeouts and a grounder.

In the bottom half, Ruckel scored nine runs on one hit, six walks and five hit batters. Blakeleigh Eslinger got the lone hit for the Rams.

In the top of second, Destin finally got on the board. Maddie Phillips walked and scored on a triple to right center by Miranda Treadway. Treadway was left stranded, when Hampton struck out the next three Marlins.

Ruckel continued the walk fest in the bottom of the second scoring eight runs on six walks, three hit batters, and one hit. Eslinger drilled a double down the third baseline for two RBIs.

Destin gave it one last shot in the top of the third. Bailey Phillips reached on an error and scored on a shot by Braden Runnels for the final score of the game.

“Pitching killed us,” said Destin Coach Brittany Cahoon.

“We just peaked at the wrong part of the season,” she said.