By Denis House
LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
South Laurel opened play in the Martin’s Peterbilt Classic Friday night with an 8-1 win over Shelby Valley.
“We didn’t play very well,” South Laurel coach James Burns said. “We played just good enough to win.”
For the Lady Cardinals, it was their 10th win in a row. South has yet to lose since returning from South Carolina.
The Lady Cards struck first, in the top of the second, for a 1-0 lead. Hagan Burns led things off with a double to left, moved to third on a ground out by Bailey Miller, and scored when Megan Smith hit a sacrifice fly to left.
South tacked four more runs on the board in the top of the third against Shelby Valley’s Kim Taylor.
Laura Williams got things going by drawing a walk. She scored when Cassandra Johnson doubled to center. Brittany Vandeventer and Amber Hyde followed with back-to-back singles and Johnson scored for a 3-0 lead.
A walk to Burns loaded the bases and brought Miller to the plate. She hit into a fielder’s choice, forcing Vandeventer out at home. After Smith popped out, Hyde scored on a wild pitch with Chelsea Wemes at bat. Wemes, who had doubled earlier in the game, singled in Burns to make it 5-0.
Shelby Valley scored its lone run in the bottom of the third to cut the lead to 5-1.
The Lady Bat Kats looked to have something going in the bottom of the fourth with two on and only one out, but Smith got Paige Werner to ground into a 6-5-4 double play to end the inning.
Hyde led off the top of the fifth with a double to center and scored on a single by Burns. Then with two outs, Smith took a 2-0 pitch and deposited it over the center field fence for a home run, her second straight game with one. The score was now 7-1.
“She hit that one a ton,” Burns said. “She broke the bat last night against Madison Central. I picked up the bat after she hit her home run and it rattled when I shook it, so I had to go buy a new bat this morning. That was an expensive home run. Then she hit one tonight with the new bat. I guess she christened it.”
The Lady Cards added their final run in the sixth when Williams tripled to right-center with one out and scored on a wild pitch. Vandeventer also tripled in the inning but was left stranded.
“This was the first game of two we were going to play tonight, and it’s been a long, emotional week with playing a rivalry game,” Burns said.
The Lady Cards will host Pulaski County tonight and travel to Corbin Tuesday.