TheTimesTribune.com, Corbin, KY

Local Sports

July 7, 2014

State of Shock

North Laurel struggles in tourney opener, drops 9-2 loss to Russell County

CORBIN — By Les Dixon / Staff Writer

SPRINGFIELD — After dropping a 9-2 decision to Russell County on Saturday, the North Laurel 9-10 year-old All-Star team responded with a 9-8 win over North Oldham Sunday.

It looked as if Wes Griebel's squad was going to cruise to an easy win after it jumped out to an 8-0 lead in the first four innings, but North Oldham responded and made a game of it before losing by one run.

“It was a nail biter toward the end,” Griebel said. “We were up 8-0 after four and everything looked great, but like most endings, we forgot to put them away.

“We let up and North Oldham kept coming,” he added. We small-balled in the last inning to get the insurance run that ended up the difference.”

Wes Griebel’s North Laurel 9-10 year-old All-Stars dominated the action during District Tournament play last week, steamrolling through the competition while allowing only one earned run.

Things were a bit different during their first game in the 9-10 year-old State Tournament Saturday when they faced-off against Russell County, whose pitcher, Sara Grider, kept North Laurel off-balanced the entire game with an impressive change-up.

Combine Grider’s change-up with Russell County’s ability to put the ball into play, and it turned out to be the perfect recipe during North Laurel’s 9-2 loss.

Russell County took advantage of six North Laurel errors during the seven-run win.

“They were shocked,” Griebel said of his team. “Somebody finally put some runs on the board and we never recovered. We threw the ball all over the field and didn’t play North softball.”

Russell County didn’t waste any time jumping on North Laurel early, as Natalie Hart’s run-scoring combined with Sophie Shearer’s run run hit up the middle gave their team an early 3-0 edge in the bottom of the first inning.

“We gave them the edge early and we never did recover,” Griebel said.

Grider did her job of keeping North Laurel off the base paths.

Emily Sizemore managed to collect two hits and an RBI during the game while Alyssa Smith connected with a triple and teammate Ashlyn Tyree had a double, but North Laurel could never take advantage of walks and errors throughout the contest.

“We stranded I don’t know how many runners,” Griebel said. “We had runners on third with no outs, I don’t know how many times. They had a good pitcher that kept us off-balance. We couldn’t get a feel for their pitcher.

“If you’ve got a pitcher with a good change-up, you’ve got a chance to win this thing,” he added. “I like our chances. If they want to show up and give us the right effort, and listen to the coaches — execution wasn’t there. That’s the name of the game.”

North Laurel was in the game throughout, trailing only by three runs heading into the fifth inning, but that’s when Russell County managed to take advantage of some miscues, and score a run during the inning to take a 4-0 edge. They put the game away during the top of the sixth inning by scoring five runs to extend their lead to 9-0.

North Laurel tried to rally in the bottom of the sixth inning, but the damage had already been done.

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