Local Sports

June 10, 2013

Lady Cards never find their rhythm

South Laurel eliminated with 4-2 loss to Montgomery Co.

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — OWENSBORO—South Laurel’s high expectations for the Rawlings/ KHSAA State Softball Tournament ended quickly with a 4-2 loss to Montgomery County. The Lady Cardinals two games in the state tournament were marked by uncommon errors and too many runners stranded.

“I was hoping for three wins, two wins and when that happens you never know what can happen if you get hot. The best teams don’t always win, the hot team does,” South Laurel coach James Burns said. “We were hoping to come up here and get hot, but it was more like an ice blanket.”

While a heavy underdog in their first game, the Lady Cardinals were probably favored over Montgomery County (22-13). South Laurel took the early lead, just as it had on Greenwood. Then they left six runners stranded the first three innings as the Lady Indians pulled ahead.

“We’ve had that problem all year long. I’m just an old country boy and I don’t know how you fix it. I will study on it all winter though,” Burns said.

Cassandra Johnson reached on an error to lead off the bottom of the second inning. A walk to Brittany Vandeventer and fielder’s choice for Amber Hyde loaded the bases. A long at bat by Bailey Miller led to a walk that forced in the first run. Even with the lead, there was the issue of three runners stranded. It would be a recurring theme.

“We left too many base runners. Honestly we didn’t hit all weekend,” Burns said.

An error and three straight singles allowed Montgomery County to tie the score in the second inning. They would also lead the bases loaded. But the breaks would come their way first.

“You come up here and you have to have a few breaks go your way and you have to play with a little more emotion. We didn’t play with much emotion,” Burns said.

The Lady Cardinals first two runners reached in the second inning. A perfect throw from left field nailed Nell Murray tagging from third and kept the score tied. Amber Hyde led off the third inning with a high home run to left field, her 13th of the season. South Laurel led 2-1, but it would not score again.

“Most of the time they were just too tight, trying too hard. When you do that you over swing and ground it into the ground or pop up in the infield,’ Burns said.

The breaks started going the Montgomery County way in the fifth inning. Four hits in the inning included a soft liner that just eluded the leaping attempt of second baseman Madyson Morris. The hit that drove in two runs was a blooper by Hunter Scott that found open outfield.

South Laurel managed just one hit the final three innings. Hyde singled to lead off the fifth, but would be erased on a double play. With two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning, play was delayed four hours by rain. When play resumed Montgomery County added an insurance run.

“Heartbreaking for the weekend. A great season, but a heartbreaking end to the year,” Burns said.

“We didn’t look like the same team.”

While Burns saw his team as tentative in their two state tournament games it didn’t take away from the season’s first 34 games.

“They’re a great bunch of kids. We had a great year and we did something our school’s not done in six years. You’ve got to be happy with the season,” Burns said.

Greenwood doesn’t see the best of South

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