LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
WILLIAMSBURG—After South Laurel’s 11-0 win over Middlesboro in the semifinals of the 13th Region softball tournament Tuesday night, Coach James Burns was very pleased with his team’s effort.
“We played a good, complete game,” Burns said. “We pitched well, hit well and swung at strikes. In the past we swung at whatever they threw at us.”
Hagan Burns and Destiney Salva combined to throw a two-hitter. In fact, Burns had a perfect game going when her father lifted her after four innings in favor of Salva.
“I wouldn’t have done that if it would have been anybody other than my daughter,” Burns said. “It was good to get Destiney some work and give Hagan some rest.”
After three innings of play, South Laurel held a 7-0 lead. Burns said in a tournament game that was important.
“It was very important to score first,” he said. “I wish we did it more often.”
The Lady Cards scored two in the third as Makenzie Powenski led off with a single then advanced to third when Nell Murray reached on an error. Powenski scored when Leslie Dixon grounded out to first, and Murray came home on a sacrifice bunt by Salva.
South Laurel broke the game open in the third, scoring five runs on just three hits as they were helped along by two costly Middlesboro errors.
Haley Shelby led the bottom of the inning off with a walk off pitcher Jessica Carter. Carter then hit Brittany Vandeventer. After Madyson Morris fouled out to first, Burns drew a walk to load the bases for Powenski, who singled to left and the ball rolled through the outfielder’s legs and to the fence, allowing all three runs to score and Powenski to end up at third base. Powenski scored on a ground out by Murray to make it 6-0. Dixon and Salva then hit back-to-back singles, and when Kaylee Norvell reached on another error, Dixon came home as the lead grew to 7-0.
South Laurel added two more runs in the sixth and seventh innings to make the final 11-0.
In the sixth, Shelby led off with a single to center and scored when Vandeventer doubled to center. Vandeventer came home on a ground out by Burns to make it 9-0. Dixon and Kenzie Jervis scored in the seventh on RBIs by Norvell and Shelby to make the final 11-0.
Middlesboro got its first two hits in the bottom of the seventh as the first two batters singled off Salva. But she got the next batter to line out to Morris at second, who quickly threw to first to double off the runner. The next batter lined out to Vandeventer at short to end the game.
“We’ve had some really good practices this week,” Burns said. “You can tell when the kids are ready to play. They’ve been fired up for this. I like our chances (in the final against North Laurel). We’ve got to have good pitching and play good defense.”
The Lady Cards met North Laurel last night in the 13th Region finals with a trip to the KHSAA state tournament on the line.