By Cheyene Miller
CNHI News Service
LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
CORBIN—For the third time this year, the Lady Cardinals of South Laurel were able to easily breeze past the Lady Yellowjackets of Williamsburg, 14-0, in the first round of the 50th District Tournament.
South had beaten Williamsburg 15-0 and 10-0 earlier in the season, so this was essentially taking care of a little already finished business for the Lady Cards.
“We did what we had to do,” said Coach James Burns. “We hit the ball hard, fielded well, I think we pitched a no hitter so you gotta feel good about that.”
Williamsburg took bat first in inning number one, but were quickly put in their place between spot on pitching from Megan Smith and solid teamwork between the in fielders. South sent the Lady Yellowjackets back to the dugout after just four attempts at bat.
During the bottom of the first, the Lady Cards were able to show Coach Burns all their hard work had paid off. Cassandra Johnson opened up with a single that set up a 6-0 score by the end of the first inning. Scores from Johnson, Brittany Vandeventer, Amber Hyde, Bailey Miller, Mackenzie Powenski, and Nellesha Murray put the Lady Cards well ahead of the Lady Yellowjackets.
In addition to the success at bat, it should be noted that Johnson, Vandeventer, Hyde, and Murray were all able to successfully steal base at least once individually. In other words, they stole base like it was their job.
The second inning was less eventful for the most part. Williamsburg was again unable to find an answer to Smith’s pitching and the cohesion between the field, ending their time at bat in just three attempts. The single biggest moment of the second inning came when Hyde scored again after an RBI double by Hagan Burns.
The top of the third inning was a bit of deja vu for Williamsburg, again being sent back after just three hits. Smith continued to improve her pitching stats, nailing another strikeout in three straight innings.
The softball gods were much kinder to South in the third. A single from Murray got things going, as did a double from Johnson. They were both able to score thanks to RBI hits from Powenski and Hyde, who eventually scored themselves thanks to an RBI from Miller. The score was 11-0 by the end of the third.
For the fourth straight time, Williamsburg had absolutely no luck at bat. Smith had a fourth strikeout and the fielders made sure that two pop up balls didn’t slip away.
For South the string of success only continued. Chelsea Wemes kept the momentum rolling with a double, and later scored thanks to an RBI hit from Laura Williams. Singles from Powenski and Hyde allowed substitute runner Haley Shelby to bank in another run home for South. Powenski herself would later score making it a 14 run deficit for Williamsburg by the end of the fourth, just in case they were considering making a comeback.
After two more strikeouts for Smith and an out at first base, the game was called after the top of the fifth inning due to the Mercy Rule, with the final score 14-0 in favor of South Laurel.
This win is just the beginning for South’s post regular season aspirations, as Coach Burns hopes to make it all the way to state. “Our goal is the same now as it was at the beginning of the season, to win region and go on to state,” said Burns.
“We advanced, so that’s the thing now. We advance and move on to the next game,” said Burns who was more than pleased with his teams progress not only against Williamsburg, but over the entire season.
“Overall our season altogether has been good, not just against them (Williamsburg). We’re 25-6 now, and we’ve played pretty good ball. I’m pretty proud of the girls.
“They are good kids. They do what you ask them, they play hard. I’ve coached most of them since they were around eight years old, from little league up. We’ve won a 10 year old little league state tournament, we’ve won a 12 year old little league state tournament. It would be nice to win a high school state tournament." South Laurel was scheduled to take on Corbin today (Wednesday) at 5:30 p.m.