In 2012, the public marveled when Josh Hamilton became just the 16th player in Major League Baseball history to hit four home runs in a single game. No player has ever hit five homers in consecutive at-bats in the majors, but someone did top those past stars on a high school softball field in Kentucky.
That’s where Sheperdsville (Ky.) Bullitt Central High star Hailey Szpila drilled five home runs on consecutive at-bats during a three-game stretch for her team. As reported by the Louisville Courier-Journal, Szpila wrapped up her performance in Bullitt Central’s victory against Elizabethtown (Ky.) High with a solo shot, then exploded for three homers during a record-setting afternoon against Taylorsville (Ky.) High, where the junior accounted for nine RBI (two of her homers were grand slams) and tied the state record for home runs in a game.
Bullitt Central won that rout 15-1, but Szpila’s crowning moment came the very next night, when the junior started off Bullitt Central’s victory against South Oldham (Ky.) High with yet another home run.
Three games, five at-bats, five homers. All in a week’s work for the star, who starts as both a pitcher and first baseman.
Considering the fact that Szpila broke the state’s consecutive homer mark by two, one would think that the crowd would expect it to come to an end rather than continue. Yet, when Szpila walked up to the plate for her second at-bat against South Oldham, the crowd was still disappointed when she flied out to left field, even if she had put almost enough juice behind her bat to land another homer if her swing had made contact a bit more cleanly.
"You don't expect anybody to set a record like that," Szpila’s coach, Buddy Gallemore, told MaxPreps. "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."
Incredibly, MaxPreps reported that Szpila had hit just three homers during her junior season entering her 5-homer binge, making her sudden power surge all the more remarkable. In fact, she hit just one homer as a sophomore, meaning that she topped her total from the previous two seasons in the span of back-to-back-to-back games.
Given that her average improved to .476 after her homer run, we might all expect to see more of her moonshots heading over the fence before the season wraps up.
- Sports & Recreation