Parkway’s Rachel King takes a swing during a game versus Minster in this file photo. King went 4-for-4 in the Lady Panthers’ 12-2 over Houston on Tuesday, including a double and a home run. (TB file photo)
Parkway’s Rachel King takes a swing during a game versus Minster in this file photo. King went 4-for-4 in the Lady Panthers’ 12-2 over Houston on Tuesday, including a double and a home run. (TB file photo)
By Kevin Wannemacher
Times Bulletin Business Manager
kwannemacher@timesbulletin.com
ROCKFORD — In a game that featured an hour delay due to the weather, the Parkway Lady Panthers pulled away late to cruise to a 12-2 win over visiting Houston in Rockford on Tuesday night.
The black-and-gold struck quickly as Kayla Walls walked and freshman Alyx Slusher followed with a home run over the right-center field fence for a 2-0 advantage.
Houston cut the deficit in half in the top of the third. Micalah Hensley tripled to center field with two outs before scoring on an errant throw to get the Wildcats on the scoreboard. However, the visitors were unable to keep Parkway off the board from there.
Slusher led off the bottom of the third with a double before a sacrifice bunt from Kayle Heckler moved Slusher to third. Sierra Fent followed with a single to left-center to plate Slusher for a 3-0 Panther lead.


Houston threatened in the top of the fourth. Macey Stang led off with a single to left and Jenna Jarrett was hit by a pitch with one out to put runners on first and second. However, Grace Riffell grounded to Whitney Rollins, who tagged Jarrett and tossed to first to get Riffell to complete the double play and end the threat.
Parkway then broke the game open in the home half of the inning.
Senior Rachel King started the inning with a home run over the center field fence to push the Panther advantage to 4-1. After Zoey Pond struck out, Serina Siano also struck out but reached safely as the Wildcat catcher was unable to corral the third strike pitch. Siano then advanced to second and third on passed balls before scoring on a single to center by Kayla Walls. Slusher followed with a single to move Walls to second and the runners advanced to second and third, respectively, on a Wildcat wild pitch.
Heckler followed with a sacrifice fly that scored Walls before Fent singled to score Slusher as the Panthers expanded the lead to 7-1.
Then came the lightning/rain delay, which shut the contest down for approximately 60 minutes. After the lengthy stoppage, Houston escaped further damage as Stang struck out Ashlynn Henderson to end the inning.
In the fifth, King doubled with one out and scored as Pond reached on a Wildcat error. After Siano walked, Slusher hit a two-run double as Parkway’s lead bulged to 10-1.
Houston did get on the scoreboard again in the sixth. A two-out single by Stang was followed by a run-scoring double from Hannah Trent to get the Wildcats within 10-2.
However, the Panthers finished off the contest in the home half of the sixth.
With two outs, King singled and Pond reached on a walk. Siano then followed with a single with both runners scoring via a Wildcat error, sealing the 12-2 victory.
Fent recorded the win, hurling six innings while allowing five hits and striking out ten. Kayla New took the loss for Houston, giving up seven hits, four earned runs and a walk with two strikeouts in three plus innings of work. Stang surrendered six hits and three walks while striking out two in three plus innings.
Slusher recorded a single, two doubles and a home run to lead the Panther offense with King adding two singles, a double and a home run. Fent also had three singles for Parkway.
Stang picked up three singles for Houston with Trent adding a double and Hensley chipped in a triple.
The Panthers return to Midwest Athletic Conference play on Thursday as they visit Fort Recovery before welcoming in Wayne Trace on Friday.
Scoring
Houston 001 001- 2 5 3
Parkway 201 432- 12 12 0