PRINCETON — PHS coach Bob James played a hunch which paid off for the Princeton Tigresses time after time Thursday in Little Siberia against the Kewanee Boilermakers.
He moved junior Danielle Hughes into the leadoff slot and she delivered, lacing four hits in four at-bats to lead a 14-hit Princeton attack for an 8-0 win. Hughes was in the middle of the PHS scoring rallies either getting things started or ending them.
“She was a catalyst,” James said. “She has good plate awareness and on-base percentage. She has a very even keeled personality, and I hope that pays off at leadoff.”
Hughes got the Tigresses going right away with a lead-off single in the top of the first. She hopped on board ahead of the Abby Jaques’ home run train.
PHS strung three hits in a row by Alisa Holmbeck, Mollie Bates and Elizabeth Hendrix to make it 3-0.
Kewanee had seen enough of Jaques’ big bat they elected to give her a free pass her next three trips to the plate. In the third, she got a free pass, moved up on a sac bunt by Courtney Oeder, moved to third on a single by Holmbeck and scored on a RBI by Hendrix.
Hughes led off the fourth inning with a double and scored on a fielder’s choice by Oeder.
In the fifth, Hughes was on the back end of the PHS scoring, stroking a two-run single to plate Jade Purvis and Linsey York.
Kewanee had no answer for Princeton pitcher Madison Menzel either. The sophomore shut out the Boilermakers on two hits while striking out 15 and walking two.
“Madison had good command and control and trusted her defense, who played well,” James said.
Holmbeck went 3 for 4, Bates and Menzel each had two hits and Devin Truesdon added one for the Tigresses.
• Tiger tales: The hits just continued to roll for the PHS F/S in a 15-0 abbreviated rout called on account of darkness following the varsity contest. The PHS varsity travels to Port Byron Saturday for a doubleheader with the F/S hosting the same Riverdale Rams at 10 a.m. at Little Siberia