Senior Amaia Daniel and junior Liaiha Slayton combined for three home runs and 11 RBI to power the Delaware Hayes softball team to a 14-1, 5-inning win over visiting Dublin Scioto to stay in the OCC-Cardinal race Thursday night in Delaware.

The Pacers put together multi-run innings in each of their five at-bats to back a complete-game performance by pitcher Haley Osborne.

Bobbi Adams doubled in a run in the first and Slayton followed with a RBI single to stake Hayes to a 2-0 lead.

“I was just trying to dial in the on the pitcher and get a base hit,” Slayton said. “That’s what I’m trying to do every time.”

“Slayton’s been seeing the ball really well lately,” Hayes coach Mark Thomas said. “She had a little hitch in her swing … and we fixed it and she’s coming along. Slayton is a good ballplayer.”

Slayton blew it open with a three-run shot in the third and Daniel added another three-run dinger in the fourth before ending the game with a grand slam in the fifth.

“After the first two at-bats, I kinda got dialed in and realized what I needed to mentally work on,” Daniel said. “I basically just got really focused. I got mentally in the zone and had to shake off the other things and just keep a positive mentality. That really helped.”

Madison Heasley touched Osborne for a solo home run in the second to account for Scioto’s only run.

Katie Bush walked and Makayla Jauregui singled after the homer, but Osborne came back with back-to-back strikeouts and cruised from there, retiring 11 of the final 12 batters she faced.

“Ozzie pitched well,” Thomas said. “She got one up and the girl hit it out. This was a step forward for her. She learned a lot against (Hilliard) Bradley. For a sophomore – that’s big. This was a very good win for us after last night.”

Bobbi Adams went 3-for-3 with a RBI and Audrey Hannahs added a pair of hits, a RBI and 2 runs for the Pacers.

The win comes after a tough loss at Hilliard Darby Wednesday. Daniel attributed the start-stop nature of this season for the team’s uncharacteristic performance.

“It gave us a big push after a day like yesterday,” Daniel said. “Especially against a team we lost to twice last year. Yesterday we weren’t in the zone. We didn’t have the focus we needed to. All of our games were getting cancelled … it was the first game in a while. Today … we knew what we needed to focus on. We were mentally and physically ready.”

Darby (6-0) and Hilliard Bradley (5-1), which beat Hayes 10-5 Apr. 10 in Delaware, currently occupy the top two spots in the league standings. The Pacers (9-2, 3-2) have a game remaining with both teams.

“It was super-important (to bounce back),” Slayton said. “I know as a team – we’re super supportive of each other. Our energy was a lot better (today).”

Darby and Bradley still have two games to play between the two, leaving the Pacers very much a part of the race.

But, Thomas is one step short of posting a ‘Games Wanted’ sign at his field. The Pacers looked, but couldn’t find opponents for Friday and Saturday after games against Westerville Central and Bishop Watterson fell victim to Mother Nature.

“We tried to get somebody, but we couldn’t – so we’ll practice this weekend and have Thomas Worthington Monday,” Thomas said. “It’s difficult right now … all the MOAC teams are trying to make up league games – so we couldn’t get those guys – and everybody is committed already. It’s just really tough.”

Thomas hopes he can get those rescheduled, but it’s a daunting task as teams start nixing non-league games in favor of lost league games. Hayes only had 23 games of the 27 allowed scheduled for the year.

For now, Hayes will have to wait for Monday, hosting Thomas in league action. First pitch is scheduled for 5:15 p.m.

By Michael Rich

For the Gazette

Follow Michael Rich on Twitter @mrichnotwealthy or contact him at [email protected].