After what he called an “implosion” in last Friday’s 8-3 loss to Boyle County, South Laurel coach James Burns was anxious to see how his team would respond when they played host to Middlesboro Monday night.
By the look of the final score they responded just fine.
The South Laurel Lady Cardinals handed the visiting Lady Yellow Jackets an 8-2 setback, led the two triples from Makenzie Powenski and a strong pitching performance by Hagan Burns.
“This was a good test for us,” Burns said.”We wanted to gauge ourselves after what happened after the Boyle game. We really had only one inning where we made mistakes but they kept their heads up.”
Burns was referring to the fourth inning, where Middlesboro scored its two runs. The inning before South had two runners thrown out at home.
“As a coach I made two errors in sending those runners home,” Burns said. “We dropped our heads a little and that’s when we hit a lull in the game.”
Prior to that, the Lady Cardinals jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first to take control early.
Brittany Vandeventer led things off by beating out an infield single, followed by Madyson Morris reaching on an error. Vandeventer scored on a wild pitch and Morris came home on a triple by Powenski for the 2-0 lead. Powenski scored on a groundout by Nell Murray.
South looked to add to its lead in the bottom of the third when Burns led off with a single and Powenski followed with her second triple. Burns was thrown out at home on the play. When Murray grounded out to the pitcher, Burns sent Powenski home, where she was tagged out.
Middlesboro got back into the game in the top of the fourth, scoring twice to cut the lead to 3-2. South got one of those runs back in the bottom of the fifth when, with one out, Vandeventer walked and stole second. She scored on a single by Burns to make it 4-2.
Then came the bottom of the sixth where South Laurel scored four runs to up its lead to 8-2.
Murray walked to lead off the inning and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Kaylyn Perkins. A Destiney Salva single put runners on first and third. Salva stole second and Murray scored on the throw to second. After Salva scored on a wild pitch, Leslie Dixon ripped a triple to right and scored on a single by Vandeventer. Morris followed that with a double that brought Vandeventer home to make the final 8-2.
“We had to adjust our pitching,” Burns said. “You could tell they had hit a lot of fast balls. That was probably the best Hagan has pitched. And we had a bunch of two-out RBIs. That’s what I like. Leslie (Dixon) had a big triple, and Makenzie (Powenski) had two. She was hitting it on the nose. We had a couple of errors but that’s what you get with a young team.
The Lady Cardinals were scheduled to host Williamsburg Tuesday night.