TheTimesTribune.com, Corbin, KY
By Chris Parsons / Staff Writer
CORBIN — Coming into the Lady Redhound Classic, Corbin coach Chris Hart said he felt like the field was a tough one and that any one of four or five teams could take home the championship trophy.
After seeing Friday’s scheduled pool play games cancelled, the tournament got started Saturday morning and by day’s end the South Laurel Cardinals had won a pair of games, including a 13-1 victory over the state’s No. 24 ranked team in Harrison County to win the title. The two wins were numbers 497 and 498 for the Lady Cardinal program.
“I think people outside of our area didn’t really know too much about the teams we had in this tournament until maybe they watched them play this weekend,” Hart said. “This was a good field and out hat’s off to South Laurel for winning this thing.
“We would have loved to bring home the trophy, but the next best thing is for it to stay in the 50th District with our friends at South,” he added. “Coach Burns does a great job with his kids and he really had them playing well this weekend.”
As for Burns and his Lady Cardinals, they had to get past Rowan County in the semifinals and then face Harrison County in the final game of the evening to be able to celebrate when the tournament was over.
They did just that and Burns credited his team for picking up its intensity level coming in to the tournament Saturday.
“The girls really played well this weekend and they were excited out there and you could tell,” Burns said. “We knew we would have to play well to be able to come out of this thing and the girls responded for us in a big way and they really hit the ball well in the championship game.”
• South Laurel
The Lady Cardinals used the second consecutive three-hit effort in the same day from Cassandra Johnson en rout to the 13-1 victory over Harrison County in the finals.
Johnson was 3-for-4 and connected for a home run in the game, adding three RBIs and a pair of runs scored to her stat line.
South Laurel scored a run in the first inning, but broke things open by adding six in the second and five more in the fifth to put things out of reach.
Brittany Vendeventer, Amber Hyde and Nell Murray added a pair of hits each in the championship game, while Vandeventer came through with a triple and three RBIs.
After stretching the lead to 13-0 in the top of the fourth inning, the Lady Cardinals gave up one in the bottom half before closing out the 13-1 victory in five innings.
The Lady Cardinals picked up a 4-1 win over Rowan County in their opening game of the day, thanks to a four-hit effort on the mound by Megan Smith. Smith also struck out five batters on the way to the victory.
Johnson was 3-for-4 at the plate for South Laurel in the win, while Laura Johnson was 3-for-3 with an RBI in the game.
The Corbin Lady Redhounds hung with Harrison County for the first half of the game Saturday, but after trimming the gap to 3-2, the Fillies pulled away in the fourth inning.
Corbin committed four errors in the fourth inning, leading to a 5-2 lead for the Fillies before Ashley Coppage connected for a mammoth two-run home run to extend Harrison County’s lead to 7-2. The homer was the 35th of Coppage’s high school career and the first time Hart had given up a long ball in two years.
The Lady Redhounds tallied eight hits in the game against Harrison County as Whitley Gatliff led the way, going 2-for-3 with an RBI. Hart was 2-for-4 with a run scored, while Kelley Farley, Katie Bernardo, Callie Schoolcraft and Amber Allen added a hit apiece.
Hart’s squad outhit Rowan County 9-7 in the battle for third place in the tournament in the Lady Redhounds’ second game of the day, but it wasn’t enough as spotty defense doomed the squad for the second straight game.
Lyndsey Barton and Sidney Reynolds each tallied two hits in the game, but it wasn’t enough to dig the Lady Redhounds out of an early 5-0 hole.