LENOX — Wednesday was a night of historic milestones for the Murray softball team in a six-inning, 16-2 victory over Lenox.
Third baseman Breianna Klein hit two grand slam home runs in a 4-for-4 night with nine RBIs and three runs scored. Pitcher Kayla Wookey added another grand slam homer in the sixth inning during a 3-for-4 night at the plate. Neither sophomore had ever hit a grand slam before.
Murray, ranked 13th in Class 1A, also had a grand slam by Kelli Romero in the season opener against Southeast Warren.
"Murray has never had more than one grand slam in a game before," said Lady Mustangs coach Danny Jensen. "Our last grand slam was in 2014 by Danielle McIntosh down at Leon. Three grand slams in a game, I've never seen that. I told the kids it's a credit to our whole lineup, because we had kids keep getting on base. I was real pleased with our hitting tonight."
Jensen coached in his 1,200th career varsity game, earning his 752nd victory.
"When I'm old and senile living in the old folks home someday, I'll tell them my team hit three grand salamies in my 1,200th game and I'll see if they believe me!" Jensen said, smiling.
"I've never seen that before," said Lenox coach Mandy Stoaks. "We weren't hitting our spots tonight, and they definitely were hitting it hard. We had a pretty good game going there for awhile, but you can't give up big hits like that with the bases loaded."
Lenox tied it 1-1 in the bottom of the third inning on an RBI double by leadoff batter Makinna Fitzgerald.
But, then Murray's long ball offense got untracked in the fourth after Lenox starting pitcher T.J. Stoaks issued two walks and a gave up a run-scoring single by Alyssa Martin. Hailey Chew drew another base on balls to load the bases for Klein, who belted a pitch over the right field fence to make it 6-1.
"It was low and outside, probably a pitch I shouldn't have swung at," Klein said.
The bases were loaded again in the fifth inning when she pounded a pitch over the left field fence to stretch the lead to 10-2.
"That pitch was right down the middle," Klein said. "Those were my first grand slams ever."
Wookey hit hers against senior Jacy Stoaks in the sixth to stretch the lead to the final 16-2 margin. At that point, T.J Stoaks was brought in to get the final two outs.
"I had two balls, so I pretty much knew it would be coming in there," Wookey said. "I just had to make contact. It was a little outside, but I pulled it. It felt pretty good off the bat."
Wookey wasn't real sharp with her screwball thrown inside to righthanded batters Wednesday, but was effective with her rise ball and a wicked 30 mph changeup for two called strikeouts to end the game after firing fastballs at twice that velocity.
Wookey finished with seven strikeouts and two walks while yielding three hits.
Lenox was missing senior catcher Shantelle Brown, who was attending orientation at Iowa State University. Also, starting second baseman Jessica Anderson became ill in the first inning, so Stoaks shuffled the lineup and inserted Kayla Yzaguirre in left field.
UP NEXT: Murray (4-1) starts defending its championship in the 35th annual Murray Softball Tournament Friday against East Union in a game scheduled at 8:15 p.m. The championship game is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. Saturday, but Jensen said starting times could be adjusted earlier during the day because of a weather forecast calling for rain over the weekend.
Lenox (2-4) hosts Southwest Valley (2-2) tonight.
Murray 16, Lenox 2
R H E
Murray 100 546 — 16 19 1
Lenox 001 100 — 2 3 2
M: Kayla Wookey 7K 2BB 1 HBP and Brandi Gilbert. L: T.J. Stoaks 2K 6BB, Jacy Stoaks (4) 1K 2BB, T.J. Stoaks (6) 1K 1BB and Makinna Fitzgerald. W — Wookey (3-0). L— T.J. Stoaks (2-4). HR — M: Breianna Klein 2, Wookey 1. 2B — M: Gilbert 1; L: Fitzgerald 1. RBI — M: Klein 9, Wookey 4, Hailey Chew 1, Alyssa Martin 1; L: Fitzgerald 1, T.J. Stoaks 1. Multiple hitters — M: Kelli Romero 4, Klein 4, Chew 3, Wookey 3, Gilbert 2, Kendra Boles 2.