By Denis House
LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
Whenever South Laurel and Corbin hook up in softball, it usually results in a pitcher’s duel.
Thursday night’s game was no different, as Hagan Burns out-dueled Hannah Hart in South Laurel’s 3-1 win.
Burns allowed one run on four hits while striking out six and walking one. Hart allowed three runs on six hits. She fanned three, walked one and hit one batter.
“A hard-fought district battle and a pitcher’s duel,” South Laurel coach James Burns said. “Every time we play them it’s a pitcher’s duel.”
South Laurel (11-4, 5-0) was able to take advantage of three Corbin (11-7, 2-1) errors, which led to the first two Lady Cardinal runs.
The first came in the bottom of the first. After Hart retired the first two South Laurel batters, Amber Hyde singled to right, where the ball was misplayed allowing her to advance all the way to third. The throw to third got away, and the South catcher raced home for a 1-0 lead.
In the bottom of the second, Megan Smith grounded to third, and was safe on an error when the throw to first sailed over the first baseman’s head. She moved to second on the error. Chelsea Wemes followed with a single to center, and Nell Murray drew a walk to load the bases for Laura Williams, who grounded out to second which allowed Smith to score to make it 2-0.
Corbin threatened in the bottom of the second, putting two runners on with two outs but failed to push either across.
Whitney Gatliff singled to left, then Burns hit Sydney Reynolds to out two runners on for Amber Allen, but Burns got Allen to strike out to end the inning,
Corbin scored its lone run in the top of the fourth as Kelly Farley led off with a triple to right and scored on a single by Katie Bernardo to cut the South lead to 2-1.
The Lady Cards got an insurance run in the bottom of the fifth when, with one out, Cassandra Johnson tripled to center and scored on a single by Brittany Vandeventer to up the lead to 3-1.
“C.J.’s triple was a big hit, as was Vandeventer’s hit to bring her in,” Burns said. “3-1 is a lot different than 2-1. It gives you more breathing room.”
Burns also praised the play of his defense.
“Our defense stepped up,” Burns said. “You can’t hit every game, but you can play defense every game.”
Burns has also been happy with his team’s play since returning from South Carolina.
“We’ve been playing well and I’m proud of them,” Burns said. “We want that No. 1 seed. We’ve been focused since coming back from South Carolina. We may not have won in South Carolina, but I think they bonded as a team.”
The Lady Cards are scheduled to travel to Pulaski County tonight, then host North Laurel Tuesday.