By Mitch Howard
LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
OWENSBORO—If South Laurel could change one inning in Friday morning’s 6-0 loss to Scott County, it might not be the five-run seventh inning.
“The turning point in the game was the bottom of the fifth when we had bases loaded and didn’t score. If we scratch a couple of runs there it makes it a little different,” South Laurel coach James Burns said.
Through five innings, Hagan Burns pitching and the South Laurel defense held No. 5 Scott County in check. South Laurel ended two threats by turning two double plays.
“We battled them. I’m proud of them,” Burns said.
In the bottom of the fifth, Nell Murray would lead off for South Laurel with a single. With two outs, walks to Kaylee Norvell and Haley Shelby would load the bases. Scott County pitcher Marlee Tevis would end the inning with a strikeout. Tevis allowed just three hits and struck out seven South Laurel batters. The fifth innings was the only time she ran into trouble.
“Tevis is a really good pitcher. She had us off balance,” Burns said. “She was throwing something that broke outside off the plate. It was probably a curveball. We kept going after it and when they would take it then it would be a fastball and it wouldn’t break off.”
Tevis then led off the sixth inning with a solo home run. South Laurel centerfielder Shelby had a bead on the ball, but ran out of room as she crashed through the temporary fence.
“It was the same pitch we got her out on the time before. It was an inside low pitch. I don’t know if she hung it,” Burns said.
Scott County broke the game open with five runs in the seventh inning. The big blow was a three-run home run by Samantha Luckett.
“That last one I will take the blame for. I was going to pull her before she threw it. I said let’s do one more batter and that batter was one too many,” Burns said.
Burns thought his pitcher may have tired on a muggy day with a pitch count higher than usual.
“We had four errors. When you look at the scorebook the errors just cost us one unearned run, but what that does is four more batters your pitcher has to face. There’s maybe 40 more pitches they have to throw. When it got to the end, I thought Hagan got tired,” Burns said.