LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
North Laurel completed its march through the 11-12 year-old district tournament with a 13-1 win over Clay County Monday night.
With the win, North Laurel advances to the state tournament, where it will face Stan Spence Saturday at 2 p.m. in Springfield.
“We had some jitters at the start of the game,” North Laurel coach Recil Jones said. “But once we got past that our pitching did well. We were patient at the plate and put some hits together and were able to score.”
With two outs in the first, Clay’s Kimberlyn Mills and Halley Napier reached base, but were left stranded when Daria Casey struck out Chandler Rice to end the inning.
North scored one run in the bottom of the first for the early lead. Gracie Jervis singled to lead off, then advanced to second on a wild pitch. She scored when Haven Huston singled.
Clay tied the game in the top of the second when Casey walked the first two batters, then settled down to strike out the next two. A bunt single loaded the bases and Jordan Boley scored on a wild pitch. Casey then struck out Sarah Wolfe to end the inning.
From then on it was all North Laurel, scoring five in the second and seven in the third to complete the 13-1 win in four innings.
Casey walked to lead off the inning, and Kaylee Scalf was brought in to run for her. Scalf scored on a double by Kamber Collier. Madison Higgins walked, then Jessica Sadler struck out, but the ball was dropped by the catcher and now North had the bases loaded for Jervis, who stroke a two-run single to make it 4-1. Sadler and Jervis would both score on wild pitches to up the lead to 6-1.
Seven more North Laurel runs crossed home plate in the third as the rout was on.
Taylor Jones was hit by a pitch to start things off. Casey reached on an error and Collier walked to load the bases for Higgins, who hit into a fielder’s choice, scoring Tara Johnson, who had come in as a courtesy runner.
Sadler reached on an error to score Casey. Jervis then continued swinging a hot bat with a two-run single to make it 10-1. Sadler and Jervis scored on wild pitches and Kinley Jarvis, who reached on a fielder’s choice, scored when Jones reached on an error to make it 13-1.
Casey retired the side in the top of the fourth to end the game on the Mercy Rule.
“Our defense was solid,” Jones said. “It was a complete team effort. We took care of business.”
Jones said he likes his team’s chances in the state tournament.
“We have a couple of girls who played in the state as 10 year olds last year, so they have some big game experience,” Jones said. “I feel good about our chances.”