By Mitch Howard
LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
Neither team mustered much offense, but it was North Laurel winning a pitcher’s duel with Madison Southern 4-0 Thursday.
“They have a great pitcher. That’s probably the most movement we’re going to see out of a pitcher all season,” Madison Southern coach Brian Foley said.
North Laurel starter Megan Baldwin allowed just one hit, a single by Tara Bord with two outs in the fourth inning. The only runner to make second base was Aleecia Broughton, who reached on an error in the first inning. The only other base runner for Madison Southern was a walk to Kayla Hargis in the fifth inning. Hargis was thrown out on a steal attempt.
“Megan pitched really good. She’s been throwing good all year, but this is the best game she’s thrown,” North Laurel coach Becky Osborne said.
Madison Southern (3-2) had won three straight games with double figure runs in each of the last two. They also have more than 10 hits in three of their first four games.
“We’re going to hit the ball, but their pitcher is probably one of the best in the state as far as movement,” Foley said.
North Laurel managed just six hits against Jessica Helton with only one hit in the first three innings.
“We just haven’t come out ready to play yet. They are not fired up,” Osborne said.
The Lady Jaguars did scratch out an unearned run in the first inning. Sidney Herrell led off by reaching on an error when a pop up was dropped in the infield. Herrell stole second and a pair of wild pitches allowed her to score.
“In the first inning, that run should have never happened. The shortstop was kind of looking at for the bag and missed it,” Foley said. “You take away our two routine plays we missed and it’s a 2-0 game.”
The North Laurel bats came alive in the fourth inning with back-to-back doubles. Baldwin tickled the left field line with a shot and scored on a double by Blake Johnson. Farris Strong fell behind 0-2 before stroking an RBI single.
“The pitcher got tired,” Osborne said.
The Lady Jaguars scored another unearned run in the fifth inning. Vanessa Smith reached on a throwing error and scored on Kristin Fields’ double. That would be plenty of runs for Baldwin.
“She looked like she was having a pretty good time out there,” Osborne said. “She had a lot of confidence. “
Foley remained optimistic at the end of his team’s three-game winning streak.
“North Laurel is always going to be tops in their region. I’m not dissatisfied with the way we played them,” he said.