By Mitch Howard
LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
CORBIN—A pair of runs in the third inning was all South Laurel managed and all it needed in a 2-0 win over Corbin Thursday. The Lady Cardinals had three hits in the inning, but both runs were unearned due to Corbin’s only error.
“Hannah Hart is a really good pitcher and that’s what you’re going to get with her. We had two really good pitchers going and it’s just who blinks. Who makes a mistake,” South Laurel coach James Burns said.
South Laurel had eight hits off of Hart, who did not walk or strike out a batter. South Laurel starter Hagan Burns’ numbers were even better. Corbin managed just four hits with no walks.
The win broke a four-game losing streak for South Laurel (9-7), which was more losses than it had the first month of the season. The Lady Cardinals dropped all three games in Florida and a game to Madison Southern after they returned.
“From Florida since we’ve been struggling, but this is what we needed,” Burns said. “A district game and a big win we had to fight hard for.”
Hart had retired six straight batters before Bailey Miller led off the third inning with an infield single. Casie Finley tried to bunt Miller to second, but got on base herself when Hart’s throw skipped past first base. Destinee Fisher’s fly ball to right field allowed Miller to score. Amber Hyde singled up the middle to drive in Finley with the second and final run.
“We scratched that one inning on a bunt, a sacrifice and three hits. We just got our hits together,” Burns said.
Burns had struck out four batters in the first two innings, but would not get another. The Lady Redhounds first hit came in the third inning as they started to make solid contact. As they put the ball in play more, they seemed to gain the momentum. Although Corbin was more vocal, Burns didn’t feel his team was affected by Corbin’s threats to rally.
“We were really focused today. You could tell on the bus ride. You could tell on getting dressed. You could tell once they got here,” he said. “We’re not a big cheering team. We never have. We get excited, but we’re not going to do a lot of that.”
South Laurel’s defense was able to turn away the threats when Corbin stroked a pair of hits in the sixth inning. It was appropriately a great defensive play that ended the game. With a runner on first, Sydney Reynolds grounder seemed destined for right field. Finley sprinted to the spot and made the play.
“The play that ended the game, Casie Finely came from nowhere. She made an awesome play,” Burns said.
The Lady Cardinals are scheduled to travel to Whitley County tonight and host Southwestern Pulaski Tuesday.