By JOSH RIZZO
Herald-Whig Sports Writer
Alyson Tappe hasn't taken many bad swings this season.
Facing a 1-2 count with two outs and the bases loaded in the fourth inning, the Quincy Notre Dame senior designated hitter focused on keeping a positive approach.
Unleashing a power swing, Tappe rocketed the next pitch into centerfield, landing in a pile of snow along the fence.
It cleared the bases, helping the Lady Raiders beat Liberty 9-1 Thursday at The Backyard.
Tappe, who is now 7 of 12 at the plate for the season, went 3 for 4 at the plate against the Eagles and drove in three runs.
"I just go up strong every time looking for something positive," Tappe said. "I don't go up with a doubt in my mind. I just try to get on and do something good for my team every at-bat."
Tappe also doubled in third inning and singled in the sixth.
"Right now, being our DH, she's taking good swings and swinging hard," QND coach Eric Orne said. "She's getting a lot of doubles and driving in a lot of runs. She has eight to 10 RBIs already and we've only played three games. She's playing a big role in our offense."
Sophomore Aryiel Gengenbacher, who was making her first start of the season at second base, also had three hits for the Lady Raiders.
"I was just looking for hits," Gengenbacher said. "I just wanted to do whatever I could to help the team."
The Lady Raiders took an early 3-0 lead, scoring two runs in the first and one in the second. Liberty (0-1) cut the lead to 3-1 in the top of the fourth when Ashley Lefringhouse singled in Shelli Ormond.
"They didn't get down," said Liberty coach Steve Buyck about his team's confidence. "They kept up with it. Our right fielder made a good throw, they've been working on throws to the inside of the plate and the catcher did a good job calling off the relay. You have to work on those situations."
Tappe's three-run double capped a five-run fourth inning for QND (2-1).
Gengenbacher singled off Eagles starter Katy Claus to start the inning. Sawyer Whelan singled and Gengenbacher advanced to third on a throwing error. Aubrey Venvertloh reached base on a fielder's choice to load the bases. Kristen Gengenbacher then walked, scoring Aryiel Gengenbacher and to put the Lady Raiders ahead 4-1.
Mary Beth Hugenberg then flew out to Liberty rightfielder Michaela Leapley, who fired the ball to catcher Shelby Wellman who tried to tag out Whelan. Wellman fielded the throw and applied the tag, but Whelan was ruled safe to push QND's lead to 5-1.
Kassidy Gengenbacher walked to load the bases again. Claus then struck out Jennie Polak to set up Tappe's three-run double.
Lefringhouse and Leapley both had two hits for Liberty.
Whelan picked up the win for QND, allowing three hits and one run in six innings of work. Kassidy Gengenbacher also had three RBIs for QND, including a solo home run in the sixth inning. Venvertloh and Kristen Gengenbacher also had RBIs.
QND finished with 11 hits as a team.
"We hit a little better later than we did early on," Orne said. "It was nice to get those early runs and manufacture a third run. I was just happy we played today with all the crazy weather we've had."