LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
WILLIAMSBURG—It’s a problem James Burns has been dealing with all season long.
“No focus,” Burns said after his South Laurel Lady Cardinals dropped a 16-11 decision to Whitley County Monday. “It’s easy to see from a coaches view what you are gonna get. When they figure it out we’re all right. When we don’t we are a poor team.”
Monday night was one of those times the Lady Cardinals didn’t figure it out. South Laurel (10-8, 1-1) committed 13 errors, and all 16 Whitley County (9-9, 2-1) runs were unearned.
Four times South Laurel committed three errors in an inning, starting with the bottom of the first when the first three Whitley County players reached on errors on balls that weren’t even hit out of the infield. The Lady Colonels would send 13 batters to the plate and score nine runs in the first inning.
“None of those balls made it out of the infield and none of them were hit hard,” Burns said. “They were driven into the ground on good pitches, we just couldn’t field them.”
It was South Laurel that struck first, scoring two runs in the top of first. The scoring started when lead off hitter Casie Finley reached on one of Whitley’s four errors in the game. Amber Hyde would single with one out, then both came home on a triple to right by Chelsea Wemes for the 2-0 lead.
Whitley would then score nine runs on just five hits in the bottom of the inning off Hagan Burns, the big blow coming off the bat of Sabrina Sizemore, who tripled with the bases loaded for a 6-2 lead.
South got one of those runs back in the top of the second when Finley’s single drove in Hailey Burns, cutting the lead to 9-3.
Then came the bottom of the inning, and three more Lady Cardinal errors allowed two runs to score, pushing the lead to 11-3.
A four-run third inning by South Laurel got the Lady Cardinals back in the game, cutting Whitley’s lead to 11-7.
Amber Hyde led off with a single against Ashley Lindsay. Then with two outs, Hagan Burns doubled to left putting runners on second and third for Hailey Burns, who reached on an error, plating Hyde. Cassandra Johnson then walked to load the bases for Laura Williams. Williams singled to center, scoring Hagan Burns. Then another single, this time by Finley, drove in Johnson and Hailey Burns.
After holding Whitley scoreless in the bottom of the third, South Laurel would score twice more in the top of the fourth to pull to within two at 11-9.
Hyde got things started with a single, then scored on a double by Megan Smith. Brittany Vandeventer reached on an error, but was thrown out trying to steal second in a close play. Hagan and Hailey Burns both walked, loading the bases for Johnson, who singled in Smith. The Lady Cards would leave two runners stranded in the inning. For the game, South left 10 runners stranded.
Three more errors in the bottom of the fourth allowed Whitley to score twice and push the lead back to four, 13-9. Smith would take over for Burns on the mound with one on and no outs, but she worked out of the jam.
Destinee Fisher tripled to right-center leading off the fifth and scored on a wild pitch to cut the lead to 13-10.
Then came another three error inning, and once again Whitley took advantage, scoring three runs to take a 16-10 lead. The Lady Cards had two runners on with one out in the top of the seventh, put two pop outs in the infield ended the game. The lone run came when Fisher walked to lead off the inning and later scored on a single by Brittany Vandeventer.
“They have to decide that they want to focus,” Burns said of his team. “They have to realize they are wasting an opportunity.”
The Lady Cardinals played host to Southwestern Tuesday night, and will travel to Madison Central on Thursday.
On April 20, the Lady Cardinals defeated McCreary Central, 5-3.
Megan Smith was the winning pitcher. Chelsea Wemes was 2-for-3 with a triple. Destinee Fisher and Amber Hyde also had a two hit night. Fisher and Wemes scored twice, while Casie Finley scored the other South Laurel run.