By Mitch Howard
LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
The North Laurel’s 11-12 All Stars put together a nearly perfect game to surprise South London 6-2 in Saturday’s first round. North Laurel did not commit an error and took advantage of South London mistakes to advance in the winner’s bracket.
North Laurel did most of its damage in a five-run fourth inning with just a pair of hits. The big inning came on the heels of a South London scoring a pair in the bottom of the third.
North Laurel starter Jazz Jervis held South London in check the first two innings before being replaced by Courtney Foley. Foley retired the first two batters she faced before giving up a walk to Gracie Jervis. A bunt single by Tori Byrd kept the inning alive. Both runners scored on a double by Mackenzie Powenski.
Although South London continued to get base runners, it would get no more runs. A runner was called out in the fourth when she stepped off the base after being called safe. Another runner was thrown out stealing in the fifth. Jade Williams struck out the last two batters to end the game with the bases loaded with South London runners.
The North Laurel rally in the fourth inning started with a single by leadoff hitter Taylor Combs. Hannah Vires was hit by a pitch. With one out, Becca Riley slapped a single to right field. South London chose to go home on a grounder by Jervis, but Combs would beat the throw. Two more runs scored on wild pitches. After a walk to Williams, Foley drove in a run with a grounder to make it a 5-2 game.
North Laurel added one more run to its lead in the fifth inning. Haylee Saylor led off with a single. Combs was retired, but it took a spectacular diving play by Byrd. Vires walked and Brianna Houston singled to load the bases. Riley singled home Saylor to make it a 6-2 lead.
North Laurel had no trouble with Knox County in their second round game, rolling 27-3, leaving North Laurel one win away from the finals of the winner’s bracket.
North scored 16 runs in the first inning and rolled from there, adding three more in the second and another in the third to make it 20-0 before Knox County scored its three runs in the fourth inning.