March 21, 2014

North overcomes early miscues

Lady Jags regroup to roll past Whitley County, 10-3

By Mitch Howard
Sports Writer

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — There were times Tuesday that North Laurel looked like a young team. That’s not a shocker when you start no seniors, one junior, and several middle school players.

“There were a couple of things tonight that you could see our youth coming out and some things we’ve got to improve on,” North Laurel coach Kyle Mink said.

Still the Lady Jaguars are 2-0 after a 10-3 win over Whitley County.  There were a few miscues in base running and a couple more in the field. The errors were a bit of a surprise.

 “Defense is probably the best part of our game honestly. For us to stay in ballgames, we’re going to have to make plays and normally we do that,” Mink said. “We do it in practice, so we just have to come out and focus more.”

Both errors came in the first inning as the Lady Colonels jumped ahead 2-0.  Falling behind wasn’t a big concern fro Mink.

“I can tell you in the two times it has happened to us we fought back. In a scrimmage at Tates Creek, we did that same thing and fought back and won that scrimmage. Tonight we fought and that just shows that they are willing to fight and get back into a ballgame,” Mink said.

North Laurel would get one run back in the bottom of the first inning. McKenzie Mills was hit by a pitch and scored on a single by Kayla Huff.

The Lady Jaguars took their first lead in the second inning. Natasha Colwell reached on an error to lead off the inning. She would score on a groundout by Madison McDaniel. Hunter Deaton singled and later scored on a wild pitch for a 3-2 lead.

Whitley County tied the score in the top of the third on consecutive singles by Morgan Macintosh and Alexa Chapman.

Although the Lady Jaguars were scratching out runs, they were having trouble adjusting to Whitley County pitcher Codie Thacker. The problem was that Thacker threw a little softer than what North Laurel was used to seeing.

“You still just have to go up there with the mindset of just hit the ball where it is pitched. However fast or slow they are throwing, you just have to make an adjustment as a hitter,” Mink said.

The Lady Jaguars started to take control with four runs in the third inning. It still took some help with two of the runners that scored reaching on an error. Another took first after being hit by a pitch. The big hit in the inning was a standup RBI double by Mikayla Vires.

North Laurel left the bases loaded in the fourth inning, but bounced back with three runs in the fifth inning. Cassidy Mason led off with a triple and scored on a grounder by Mills. Vires stroked another double to score Mills. Olivia Miller made it a 10-3 game with an RBI single to score Vires.