By Mitch Howard
LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
Amber Hyde opened the scoring with a homer and Megan Smith ended it with another in South Laurel’s 11-1 win over Whitley County Wednesday.
“They were no-doubters too. They hit them pretty hard,” South Laurel coach James Burns said.
South Laurel has opened the season with three straight wins despite playing all three games in uncomfortably cold weather.
“I don’t know what we’ll do when it gets warm. We haven’t played when it’s warm,” Burns said.
The Lady Cardinals have played well, outscoring their opponents 44-1 and moving into the state rankings. Whitley County did become the first team to score on South Laurel with an unearned run in the fourth inning.
“So far we are playing pretty good,” Burns said.
The Lady Cardinals got off to a pretty good start Wednesday with Cassandra Johnson and Laura Williams stroking back-to-back singles. That was followed by a long home run from Hyde. It was her second home run of the season, but the first to leave the park.
South Laurel made it 4-0 in the second inning. Madyson Morris legged out an infield single and scored when Williams reached on an error.
In the third inning, it was Chelsea Wemes with a two-out single and also scoring on an error.
“We hit the ball pretty well,” Burns said.
The Lady Cardinals also got good pitching with Whitley County’s fourth-inning run the first scored against South Laurel this season. An error and a wild pitch broke the Lady Cardinals’ shutout streak.
“Hagan (Burns) pitched well. She gave up that one run, but it was unearned,” Burns said. “We made too many errors. We made two in the first inning.”
South Laurel plated three runs in the fifth inning for an 8-1 lead. They would end it in the sixth on Smith’s long shot to centerfield.
“I’m interested to see a close game and see how we react. We’ve not had one where you have to really fight and bare down,” Burns said. South Laurel did rally from five runs down in a scrimmage against Madison Central.
Burns expects to get that chance with the Lady Cardinals scheduled to play at Scott County Thursday, a team ranked in the top five. South Laurel hosts Garrard County Friday.
“We’ve got to go to Scott County, and then Garrard County Friday is another pretty good team,” Burns said.