LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
CORBIN—With two runners on and one out in the bottom of the seventh, South Laurel was clinging to a 4-3 lead over Corbin.
Hannah Hart sent a short pop fly into foul territory behind first base, where Lady Cardinal secondbaseman Madyson Morris made the catch. She whirled around and saw that Kaitley Jackson, who was on third base, was racing home with the potential tying run. Morris fired a perfect strike to catcher Nell Murray, who tagged Jackson out and the Lady Cardinals escaped with the one run win.
“Very exciting game between two good pitchers and two good teams,” South Laurel coach James Burns said. “It’s hard to beat Corbin at Corbin. They have a great fan base, which got our fans up, and it was like a tournament atmosphere.”
Burns said the final out of the game just capped off a good defensive effort by his team.
“Madyson caught the ball and looked for the runner,” Burns said. “She did what she was taught to do.”
Another key play was a sacrifice bunt that Brittany Vandeventer laid down in the top of the seventh that led to the eventual winning run being scored.
“That won’t show up in any linescore but that was huge,” Burns said. “It moved Leslie (Dixon) to second and allowed us to win the game. If she doesn’t get that bunt down we might not have scored.”
At the time, South Laurel was trailing, 3-2, having just surrender the lead in the bottom of the sixth inning. Dixon led off by beating out a bunt single. Vandeventer then sacrificed her to second, then Morris followed with a single to center to score Dixon and tie the game at 3-3. Morris scored on a double off the bat of Makenzie Powenski to give South Laurel a 4-3 lead.
“That was a huge hit by Powenski,” Burns said.
Now it was Corbin’s turn to see if it could answer the South rally.
Jackson led off with a single to right-center and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Katie Bernardo. Lindsey Barton then sent a grounder to first that hit off the bag for a single. She stole second to put runners on second and third with only one out, setting up the exciting play at home.
South Laurel (17-2, 4-0) scored in the top of the first when Vandeventer led things off with a single and stole second. She moved to third on a ground out by Morris and scored when Burns flew out to right to make it 1-0.
The Lady Cards made it 2-0 in the top of the second off Hart when Murray doubled with one out, followed by a Destiney Salva single. After Haley Shelby fanned, Dixon reached on an error, which allowed Murray to score.
It stayed 2-0 until the bottom of the fifth when Corbin (6-12, 1-1) cut the lead in half. Whitley Gatliff got things started with a lead-off double to right. After Burns fanned the next two batters, Bernardo singled to drive in Gatliff.
The Lady Redhounds would take a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the sixth. Hart walked to lead off the inning, followed by a single to center from Kelly Farley. With one out, Megan Greene lined out to Vandeventer at short and Hart headed for home. The ball beat her to the plate, but she was able to knock it out of Murray’s glove to tie the game at 2-2. A single by Callie Schoolcraft scored Farley to give Corbin a 3-2 lead.
“I was proud of the way we came back after they got the momentum,” Burns said. “But we let them off the hook early. We left too many baserunners on. We couldn’t get the two-out hit we needed. That has been a problem all year. When you give a good team a chance they will come back and Corbin did.”
The Lady Cards are scheduled to travel to Williamsburg tonight and host Southwestern on Tuesday.