By Chris Parsons
TheTimesTribune.com, Corbin, KY
SOUTH LAUREL —
The South Laurel Lady Cardinals continue to impress this season, grabbing a 4-1 win over Madison Central Thursday.
The win is the ninth straight for James Burns’ squad as it improved to 14-4 overall and is now 11-1 against in-state opponents.
Despite how well the Lady Cardinals have played lately, Burns said he still feels like they haven’t played to their potential this season.
“We’ve put one real good game together this season and that was against Harrison County,” Burns said. “Other than that game we have played well in one area or the other, but not really a complete game.
“We played really well tonight on defense and we hit the ball well a few times, but they had us off balance early on,” he added. “We had some timely hits and that’s what made the difference in the game tonight.”
After managing just two hits through the first three innings, Megan Smith gave her team a 1-0 lead when she connected for a solo home run to left-center field.
The Lady Indians tied things up after Hagan Burns hit Summer Fleeman to open the top of the fifth inning. Fleeman came around to score after back-to-back hits by Samantha Walzyk and Katie Grant to tie things up at a run apiece.
A pair of errors with a single by Brittany Vandeventer sandwiched in between them loaded the bases for South Laurel and gave Hagan Burns a chance to make amends for the hit batter in the top half of the fifth inning.
She made good on the opportunity when she connected for a bases-clearing double to center field that put the Lady Cardinals on top 4-1.
Madison Central threatened in the top of the sixth inning after opening the inning with consecutive hits to put two runners on with nobody out, but the Lady Cardinals’ defense worked out of the jam after a groundball to shortstop Cassandra Johnson put an end to the inning.
Fleeman singled to open the seventh inning, but Hagan Burns got the Lady Indians’ Mackenzie Humphrey to ground into a double play for the first two outs of the inning.
After another Madison Central base hit, South Laurel’s Amber Hyde made a play on a foul ball to end the game as the Lady Cardinals held on for the win.
Vandeventer led the way at the plate for South Laurel with a 3-for-4 effort as she had three singles and a run scored.
Hagan Burns struck out four Madison Central batters en route to the win.
South Laurel will be back in action today as they host the Martin’s Peterbilt Classic, which will be played today and Saturday.
Burns said he is looking forward to the tournament, which includes some top-notch competition.
“We have some really good teams coming in here this weekend, so we’re excited about it,” he said. “It will be good to play some teams that aren’t from around here and see some different competition for a change.”