Covering High School Sports in America
Photo by Theresa Szpila

Hailey Szpila set a state record by hitting home runs in five consecutive at-bats.

Maturing power hitter Hailey Szpila of Bullitt Central (Shepherdsville, Ky.) set an all-time Kentucky softball record during the past week by slamming home runs in five consecutive at-bats. There was one walk during the streak.

Coach Buddy Gallemore told MaxPreps that she hit a solo shot on her last Tuesday at-bat against Elizabethtown (Ky.), then exploded for three (two with the bases loaded) during a 15-1 rout of Spencer County (Taylorsville, Ky.) on Wednesday and collected her final round-tripper on Thursday against South Odlham (Crestwood, Ky.).

The previous Kentucky record was three.

The 5-foot-6 junior first baseman/pitcher was finally retired Thursday on a fly ball to left field.

"It was kind of a groan from our fans, but things like that have to come to an end," Gallemore said.

"You don't expect anybody to set a record like that," he continued. "To hit five in five consecutive at-bats is incredible. Her teammates were as excited as she was and so was the coaching staff, believe me. She's worked hard on her swing the last few years. She is just seeing the ball. It looks like a beachball. Her mechanics are very sound and the ball travels. She knows she can hit and her confidence is through the roof."

The left-handed slugger, who has started since eighth grade, bats third in the lineup and is normally a first baseman. However, she has been pressed into pitching this year out of necessity and has compiled a 14-4 record with 56 strikeouts, just eight walks and a 2.47 ERA.

She had only three home runs prior to last week and Gallemore believes she hit just one as a sophomore. This season she is batting .476 with eight home runs, 26 runs and has driven in 27. She has drawn 19 walks and struck out just seven times.

*In a marathon baseball game, Christian Brothers (Memphis, Tenn.) outlasted Memphis University (Memphis, Tenn) 3-2 in a 17-inning thriller which lasted four hours and 35 minutes. No. 9 hitter Brandon Dawson was the hero with the winning RBI single following a triple by Chris Carrier.