CROWN POINT | Had there been some snow on the ground, the Bulldogs would have easily melted it with their hot bats and laser shots Tuesday.
On a crisp 40-degree day, Times No. 2 Crown Point displayed its best effort to keep warm by running around the bases and scoring runs in bunches in its 14-4 rout of Valparaiso.
In three different instances, the Bulldogs got three straight hits in their Duneland Athletic Conference opener, which propelled them to four runs in the opening frame and six in the third.
"We were trying to put more runners out there and score in every inning," CP coach Ginger Britton said.
Valpo wouldn't go away quietly, though, as the visiting Vikings responded with three runs in the second and another in the third to tie it up at 4-4.
"I just told them after the first that we weren't done. We looked for our pitch and put the ball in play," Valpo coach Tracy Corneil said. "Crown Point is a good team and we'll walk out of here with some positives, but also with some things to work on."
The Bulldogs (1-1, 1-0 DAC) also showed some grit by getting six hits in the difference-making third, which included a two-run single from Mandy Shrader and an RBI triple from No. 3 hitter Bailey Mores, who also added a double and a run.
After recording just one out in the inning, the Bulldogs chased Vikings starter Kennedy Minko in favor of Megan Krantz. CP got to her as well with six hits and four runs, including three in the fifth to send Valpo home early.
"We weren't OK with starting at 4-4," said Britton. "Today we were patient at the plate by waiting for a pitch that we wanted to hit."
After the rocky second and third, Bulldog starter Rachael Centanni pitched a scoreless fourth and Siena Gyure came in relief for a scoreless fifth.
Centanni allowed just four hits and two earned runs over four while striking out four to pick up the win.
"Rachael did an outstanding job today on the mound. She wasn't getting the corners, but she did a nice job of settling in," Britton said.