BURLINGTON – Richmond-Burton junior Bailey Jones jammed her thumb on her last swing against Burlington Central in the fifth inning, but the little pain that came with it went a long way.
Jones made solid contact against relief pitcher Abby Jones and was surprised when the ball traveled over the left-center field fence. It was Jones' first varsity home run and the third of the game for R-B, which pounded out 20 hits and rolled to a 19-6 win in the teams' Kishwaukee River Conference game Friday.
Jones, Carys De Lucia and Wisconsin commit Peyton Bannon all hit home runs in the five-inning victory, as R-B (11-2-1, 5-1 KRC) overtook Burlington (13-5, 5-2) for first place by half a game.
"I definitely was not expecting it," Jones said of her two-run blast in the top of the fifth. "For some reason, I thought it was a blooper over the second baseman, but I guess not. We can do anything. Anything we set our minds to, we've got it."
Since losing to Johnsburg, 4-3, on April 23, R-B has scored 33 combined runs in wins against Woodstock and Burlington. The Rockets' 19 runs Friday were a season high. Their approach has not changed.
"For us, it's always the same," R-B coach Vicki Klopf said. "You get yourself in the box, stay level-headed, and go find your pitch. I always tell them that. 'Go find your pitch. Get one you're comfortable with, and go and get it.'"
Eight of R-B's nine batters finished with two or more hits.
Leadoff batter Bella Spittler was 3 for 3 with three runs, reaching base in all five of her plate appearances with three bunt hits and two walks. De Lucia was 3 for 4 with three runs scored and two RBIs, and Jones and Rachel Baker each went 3 for 4 with two RBIs. Jones, Baker and De Lucia each had a double.
Jesse Klicker was 2 for 2 with a double, a triple, two RBIs and two runs scored, Bannon and Peyton Kupsak each were 2 for 4 with two runs scored and two RBIs, and Kaitie Regnier added two hits, two runs scored and one RBI.
The loss to Johnsburg made R-B refocus, Spittler said.
"Usually we win in Johnsburg, so that was a very tough loss, especially because they're our rival," Spittler said. "We knew coming back from that we needed to refocus and regroup. I think we were getting ahead of ourselves.
"We had the mindset of looking middle and just driving it today, and that's exactly what we did."
R-B sent nine batters to the plate in the first inning, scoring five runs on six hits. R-B added single runs in the second and third, seven in the fourth and five in the fifth to build a 19-1 lead. Burlington scored five of its six runs in fifth.
Jones scattered six hits over five innings, giving up six runs (four earned) with two walks and two strikeouts. Her first career home run in the fifth brought the loudest cheers from inside the R-B dugout.
"We know we have to start our games upbeat," Jones said. "Against Johnsburg, we didn't really start upbeat, and that kind of killed us in the end. We definitely changed that this game."
STAR OF THE GAME
Bella Spittler, Richmond-Burton, jr., CF
Spittler reached based in all five of her plate appearances batting leadoff with three bunt hits, two walks and three runs scored.
20: Hits for Richmond-Burton
AND ANOTHER THING …
R-B sent nine batters or more to the plate in the first, fourth and fifth innings.
Richmond-Burton 19, Burlington Central 6 (5 inn.)
Richmond-Burton 511 75 – 19 20 3
Burlington Central 010 05 – 6 7 5
WP: Jones (5IP, 7H, 6R, 4ER, 2BB, 2K). LP: Catenacci (3IP, 11H, 10R, 8ER, 3BB, 0K).
Top hitters–Richmond-Burton: Spittler 3-3 (3R, SB), Baker 3-4 (2B, 2R, 2RBI), Klicker 2-2 (3B, 2B, 2R, 2RBI), Regnier 2-4 (2R, RBI), De Lucia 3-4 (HR, 2B, 3R, 2RBI), Jones 3-4 (HR, 2B, R, 2RBI), Bannon 2-4 (HR, 2R, 2RBI), Kupsak 2-4 (2R, 2RBI). Burlington Central: Catennaci 2-3 (2B, R, RBI), Rabe 1-3 (3B, R, RBI), Sanders 1-3 (2B).