Outfielder Courtney Hanzlick has been batting in the leadoff spot for the Augusta Lady Orioles softball team while Taylor Reichard, who usually starts off for the team, recovered from dislocating her ribs in an earlier game.




Reichard returned to the leadoff spot Monday and Hanzlick returned to her normal place as second in the batting order to help the Lady Orioles record a 3-1 victory over Circle in the nightcap of a doubleheader to earn a sweep over the Thunderbirds at the El Dorado Lake State Park. Augusta won the first game 9-1.


Outfielder Courtney Hanzlick has been batting in the leadoff spot for the Augusta Lady Orioles softball team while Taylor Reichard, who usually starts off for the team, recovered from dislocating her ribs in an earlier game.


Reichard returned to the leadoff spot Monday and Hanzlick returned to her normal place as second in the batting order to help the Lady Orioles record a 3-1 victory over Circle in the nightcap of a doubleheader to earn a sweep over the Thunderbirds at the El Dorado Lake State Park. Augusta won the first game 9-1.


Circle took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning that was answered in the top of the third when Reichard tripled and scored on a sacrifice bunt by Hanzlick. Hanzlick scored the go-ahead run in the top of the seventh, reaching base with an infield single and scored on Kayla Sears’ double. Sears later scored on a sacrifice bunt by Rachel Aguirre.


“It’s real nice and it’s about time to have everybody back,” said Augusta softball head coach Ray Aguirre. “Taylor is like the spark plug to our offense and it was good to see her going, especially with that triple (in the second game). Then Courtney came through with that bunt to knock her in. That was big for us to get that run. (Then) we were able to get some hits and manufacture some runs in the seventh inning.”


Hanzlick was glad to get back in the second spot in the Lady Orioles’ batting order.


“I like being the second batter than being the first,” Hanzlick said. “Having the pressure of being the first batter is something I don’t like. It’s pretty nice (to move back) because I can actually do my job now.”


Hanzlick was 5-for-8 with four runs batted in on the day for Augusta (9-5), including three singles and three RBIs in her final game as leadoff hitter.


Reichard was also happy to return to action after recovering from her rib injury. Reichard came in the fourth inning of the first game and hit two doubles and had two RBIs to go along with her contribution in the nightcap.


“I was just sick sitting there just watching,” Reichard said.


Karli Visor was the winning pitcher in the opener, while Kaitlin Kennedy claimed the victory from the mound in the nightcap. Coach Aguirre said both pitchers did excellent jobs against the T-Bird hitters, with Kennedy also having to deal with being called for three illegal pitches.


“Both pitchers threw very well,” Coach Aguirre said. “Kaitlin sucked it up and did a good job. We worked with Karli last week on changing speeds a little bit more and she did a good job on that.”


Visor gave up seven hits in her seven innings of work; striking out seven. Kennedy struck out nine, while allowing six hits and two walks in her seven innings of action.


The Orioles return to the AGSI Complex for league doubleheaders on back-to-back afternoons. Augusta faces Andover on Thursday, then play Rose Hill on Friday. Both doubleheaders will start at 4:30 p.m.