Destin Marlins split on the road

Tina Harbuck

The Destin Lady Marlins wrapped up the week with an 8-5 victory on the road over the Pryor Pirates on Wednesday after dropping a hard fought battle 7-2 to the Ruckel Rams in Niceville on Monday.

“Our girls played incredibly well,” said Destin Coach Kati O’Brian following the win over Pryor.

The Marlins came out and jumped on the Pirates early putting three runs on the board in the top of the first. With two runners on base, No. 4 hitter Ava Smith smacked one over the right fielder’s head for a triple and two RBIs. Smith later scored on a single by Brody Hlavaty.

Destin put four more runs on the board in the second on three hits and some crafty base running. The Marlins scored one last run in the fifth.

Pryor scored one in the fourth, one in the fifth and three in the sixth.

For the game, Destin totaled 10 hits and five-plus stolen bases. Smith and Hlavaty led the way with two hits each. M.J. Toth, Hannah Isham, Ashlyn Priest and Mykean Pope all connected for singles. Olivia Payne also slapped a single to right center followed by a culmination of errors for a score.

“All in all we hit the ball well, stole bases when we needed to and capitalized on errors for a great offensive night,” O’Brian said.

“On defense we played like we always do … we play hard and we get dirty,” O’Brian said.

O’Brian noted a couple of snags on the mound from her starter Ava Smith and her relief, fifth grader Izzy Douglas.

“I was beyond proud of my fifth grader. It isn’t easy being 10 years old and throwing against seventh and eighth grade power hitters and she really showcased her talent and great attitude,” O’Brian said.

However, what O’Brian said she was most proud of was how the Lady Marlins “played as a whole family.” Each player played three innings of action and got to swing the bat.

As for the game with Ruckel, Destin held their own, 2-2, going into the bottom of the sixth inning when the Ruckel Rams put up five runs for the win.

“I was beyond proud of our Lady Marlins and the outstanding performance,” O’Brian said.

Top batters for the game were Toth who went three-for-three, Payne with two hits, and Douglas and Blakely York each with one hit.

O’Brian also bragged on the Marlin defense noting a diving catch from Reagan Palmer and the pitching of Ava Smith and Douglas.

Up next for Destin is a 4 p.m. game, March 27 in Valparaiso against the Lewis Falcons.

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