By Mitch Howard
LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
North Laurel exploded for 12 runs in the third inning and made short work of Corbin for a 14-1 win Thursday. It was the fourth straight win for North Laurel, who swept through the winner’s bracket with little challenge.
“We are pleasantly surprised, but the girls have been so coachable and so focused. They have come together with great unity and cohesion. They have really performed,” North Laurel coach Kevin Houston said.
North Laurel had nine hits in the win, including three hits and three RBI from Jazz Jervis. They were also helped by nine Corbin errors.
“Corbin was without one player tonight, their starting catcher, and I think their defense had to adjust a little bit. That was to our advantage tonight,” Houston said. “They girls put the pressure on them and made them field the ball.”
North Laurel again played error free as it has for most of this tournament.
“We’ve had a few errors, but we have minimized our errors and mistakes. Everything we have worked on in practice they have executed during the games,” Houston said.
It was Corbin opening the scoring with a run in the bottom of the first inning. Kate Williams dropped a single into left field and scored on a solid single by Kiana Wine.
North Laurel took the lead with a pair of runs in the second inning. Becca Riley led off with a triple and scored when the throw to third base was wild. Courtney Foley singled with two outs. Foley would score the go-ahead run when Morgan Vaughn reached on an error.
“Corbin has a really nice team, a nice pitcher. That pitcher from the left side I was a little concerned about that, but the girls picked it up and hit it real well,’ Houston said.
North Laurel put the game away by sending 16 batters to the plate in the third inning with the first nine reaching base. Jervis had two hits in the inning. Corbin also had six errors in the inning as North Laurel scored seven runs before the first out was recorded.
“The middle of the lineup really hit the ball well, but we hit one through nine,” Houston said.
Corbin was scheduled to play Clay County in the finals of the loser’s bracket with the winner of that game needing to beat North Laurel twice to advance to the state tournament.
“All the teams left are really nice teams. We’ve got to stay on top of our game,” Houston said.