By Mitch Howard
LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
North Laurel needed just five innings to post a 12-1 win over Pulaski County in Thursday’s season opener. The Lady Jaguars scored in every inning with production coming from everyone that stepped to the plate.
“I was really pleased with how we came out ready to play. The girls were focused and in tune with everything we wanted to do,” North Laurel assistant coach Rogers Strong said.
Sidney Herrell, Vanessa Smith, Emily Sears, and McKenzie Mills each had a pair of hits for North Laurel with eight different players driving in runs.
“I was really pleased with the way we hit the ball through the lineup,” Strong said.
Megan Baldwin allowed one run on two hits with nine strikeouts. Her only walk was to the leadoff hitter, which also led to the only run. Pulaski County’s Jessica Foster drew the walk and scored on a solid double by McKala Blevins.
“Meg, after the first hitter, she was spot on. The defense was solid. Just really a great opener in bad conditions,” Strong said, referring the cold temperatures.
North Laurel scored four runs in the bottom of the first, all with two outs.
“I was especially happy with the way we responded after they scored in the top half. We came in and took care of business. We had three two-out hits in the first inning that gave us some room to work with,” Strong said.
Herrell led off with a single, followed by a walk to Kailin Yantz. Pulaski County retired the next two hitters before Smith and Sears singled. Farris Strong then smacked a double.
Mills and Herrell both singled and scored in the second inning. In the third inning, it was a two-out double by Mills that scored Sears.
“She hit it on the warning track. She gave it a ride and it was 3-0 pitch. I gave her the green light and I told her it has to be what you want,” Strong said.
The Lady Jaguars tagged on five more runs in the fourth inning to make sure they didn’t play too late on a cold night.
“We scored every inning, which we told them we want to put something on the board every inning,” Strong said.
North Laurel will be at Somerset tonight and host Corbin on Thursday before getting heading to Louisville for the Ballard Invitational.