By Les Dixon / Sports Editor
NORTH LAUREL — What looked like a 2-1 win for the Corbin Little League All-Stars after a clutch run-scoring hit by Harleigh Grubb in the bottom of the sixth inning in Tuesday’s game against Clay County has now turned into a waiting game to see who the actual winner is.
After seeing Corbin score the potential game-winning run, Clay County coach Scottie Smith protested the game because Corbin failed to play two players.
According to District 4 Administrator Franklin Stivers, Corbin had two batters come to bat in the bottom of the sixth inning and when the run scored, the game became an official six-inning game and at that time, there were two batters from Corbin that hadn’t batted yet and with Corbin fielding 13 players, they must bat every player at least one time.
Clay County knew that Corbin hadn’t batted all of its players and brought it to the attention to umpire Rick Johnson and protested. Stivers then called the protest into the Central Region and the Central Region called it into the tournament committee in Williamsport, Pa. and as of press time, no decision has been made on the outcome of the game.
“The situation we discussed before the inning started, (we) had the perfect scenario,” Stidham said. “We had Kaitlin Williams and Harleigh Grubb up to the plate and we were going to sub our four and five hitters for the remaining two girls and in the heat of the moment, we had a great hit and Kate scored, which gave us a 2-1 lead and we just made a mental mistake, it’s all on my shoulders, regardless,” Stidham said. “We had all intentions of putting the girls in the sixth in the middle of the line-up. In the heat of battle, we weren’t planning on the girl hitting a triple.
“It’s very disappointing,” he added. “Because it was a great battle and a great pitching battle with Halia Stidham and Brianda Owens — an epic battle, I knew it would be a pitching war and it came down to that. I’m super proud of our girls and I couldn’t ask for a better effort. I hate it for the girls because they could lose the victory, but if that’s the case, then we’ll come back strong.”
It was nip-and-tuck the entire contest with both Stidham and Owens turning in solid pitching efforts. Corbin struck first in the second inning, as Sarah Stewart’s run-scoring double gave her team a 1-0 edge.
Clay County managed to tie the game at one apiece in the fourth inning before seeing Corbin potentially getting the win in the bottom of the sixth inning.
Owens finished the contest with 12 strikeouts while Stidham recorded eight in the circle.
South London will square-off against Leslie County today at 6 p.m. while the loser of the Corbin/Clay County game will be back in action today against the Knox County All-Stars at 8 p.m.