TheTimesTribune.com, Corbin, KY
By Chris Parsons / Staff Writer
SOUTH LAUREL — The South Laurel Lady Cardinals had to settle for the title of Co-Champions after the Martin’s Peterbilt Classic was cut short thanks to rain Saturday afternoon.
South Laurel and Franklin County both finished the tournament as the only two unbeaten teams at 3-0, forcing the teams to share the championship crown for this year’s event.
South Laurel picked up wins over Shelby Valley (8-1) and Dixie Heights (14-0) on Friday, followed by a 7-5 win over McCreary Central in the Lady Cardinals’ early game Saturday.
Lady Cardinals’ coach James Burns said he was pleased with the effort of his team, which has now won 12 straight games, but wasn’t exactly thrilled that the tournament was cut short on account of the weather.
“We played well and we were hoping to play a pretty good Franklin County team before the rain washed us out,” Burns said. “So we just called it co-champions and went home with wet bottoms when it was over.
“I was pleased with the way our team played this weekend though,” he added. “They’re hitting the ball well and playing solid defense and we’re also getting good pitching, so it’s a situation where I think things are just coming together for us.”
The Lady Cardinals took an early lead over Shelby Valley Friday, but the Lady Kats tied things up at one apiece in the third inning.
South Laurel struck for four runs in the third inning and two more in the fifth to push the gap to 7-1. Burns’ squad added one more run in the sixth to seal the win at 8-1.
In Friday’s second game, things started out rather slowly, but the Lady Cardinals broke things open with a combined 13 runs in the third, fourth and fifth innings to take a 14-0 lead.
Amber Hyde connected for two home runs in the game, while Cassandra Johnson and Hagan Burns each hit one home run.
Burns held the Lady Colonels to one hit in the game with five strikeouts to earn the win.
South Laurel scored three runs in each of the first two innings in Saturday’s game against McCreary Central, but the Lady Raiders trimmed the gap to 6-5 with a pair of runs in the top of the fifth inning.
The Lady Cardinals added a run in the bottom of the fifth for insurance as Hagan Burns closed things out to earn the save.
With the three wins, the Lady Colonels improve to a 13th Region best, 17-4 on the season and will get set to face Corbin Tuesday after what Burns said was a much-needed day off Monday.
“We’ve really been busy the past week or two and I’m glad we get the day off before the Corbin game,” Burns said. “Chris (Hart) does a good job over there and Hannah (Hart) is a really good pitcher, so we’ll have our work cut out for us.”