By Les Dixon / Staff Writer
SOUTH LAUREL — South Laurel coach James Burns wanted to see how his young Lady Cardinal squad would respond after dropping its first game of the season three days ago to 12th Region power Boyle County during Monday’s 13th Region battle against the Middlesboro Lady Yellow Jackets.
The Lady Yellow Jackets were coming off an impressive week that saw them capture the 13th Region All ‘A’ Classic championship, while entering the game with only one loss.
Burns had to be happy with what he saw, as South Laurel scored three runs in the first inning, and never looked back, during an impressive 8-2 win over Middlesboro.
“This was a good game,” he said. “After our implosion Friday, I wanted to see how we would respond today. Their pitcher can bring it. But we started hitting it a bit.”
South Laurel scored three runs in the first inning, thanks to eighth-grader Makenzie Powenski’s run-scoring triple combined with Nell Murray’s run-scoring ground out.
It looked as if the Lady Cardinals were going to put the game away in the bottom of the fifth inning after seeing Hagan Burns deliver a single while Powenski followed with her second triple of the game. But during Powenski’s hit, Hagan Burns was thrown out at home, and Powenski was thrown out at the plate after Murray grounded out to the pitcher.
And that’s when the Lady Yellow Jackets got back into the game.
After seeing Hanna Gambrel reach base with a hit while Tiffany Howerton followed with a walk, Amanda Biscardi connected with a run-scoring hit to make the score, 3-1. Middlesboro added another run to cut its deficit to 3-2 heading into the bottom of the fourth inning.
“We still made some errors,” Burns said. “But young teams are going to do that. They really hit the fastball well, so we had to adjust our pitching. I thought Hagan pitched her best game (of the season) tonight.”
Hagan Burns drove in a run in the bottom of the sixth inning, giving South Laurel an insurance run while extending its lead to 4-2, but the Lady Cardinals managed to put the game away in the bottom of the sixth inning.
Murray led the inning off with a walk, and eventually scored stealing home, while Destiny Salva connected with a single and scored on a pass ball.
Eighth-grader Leslie Dixon’s triple started a two-out rally that saw Brittany Vandeventer drive Dixon in with a run-scoring single while Madyson Morris followed with an RBI triple, giving South Laurel a commanding 8-2 advantage.
“We had a bunch of two-out RBI tonight,” Burns said. “I thought our kids came through — that's what I like. Leslie had a big hit, and Powenski had two big triples. (We got) a good test tonight.”
Powenski led the way with a 2-for-3 effort at the plate along with Salva while Vandeventer and Hagan Burns each delivered two hits in the win.
Burns struck out six batters and allowed only three hits on the mound.
The Lady Cardinals (7-1) will be back in action today at home in a 50th District contest against Williamsburg at 5:30 p.m.
South Laurel 8, Middlesboro 2
M'Boro 0 0 0 2 0 0 0—2 3 1
So. Laurel 3 0 0 0 1 4 x—8 10 3
WP — Burns. LP — NA.