, Corbin, KY

Local Sports

April 18, 2014

Driver's Seat

South Laurel moves in to District's top seed with win

CORBIN — By John Stepp for The Times Tribune

CORBIN — The South Laurel Lady Cardinals escaped with a 4-3 victory over the Corbin Lady Redhounds after an exciting play at the plate that secured them the win. Trailing South Laurel 4-3 in the bottom of the seventh, with one out and runners on first and third, Corbin's Hannah Hart hit a blooper to right field. The ball was caught for the second out, but Kaitley Jackson tagged at third and was headed home. The ball reached the catcher as Jackson attempted to score, but Lady Cardinals' Nellesha Murray tagged Jackson for the final out, ending the game.

“It really came down to that one play. A good throw gets her and a bad throw, they score," said South Laurel coach James Burns. “Corbin is always hard to beat down here. It was a good game for both teams. It just took that one play to end it.”  

For Corbin, the game was more than just one play. The Lady Redhounds do not have the winning record that many expected so far this season, but Coach Chris Hart said his team showed they can play with anyone in their tough loss to South Laurel.  

“I think this game showed a lot of people that we can play with anyone. We played really well, better than what most thought we would,” said Hart. “I've told people that our early tough schedule would get us ready for these games, and I think we are proving that right. We were in there, had the chance to win, and probably should have. We just didn't close it out when we needed to.”  

South Laurel jumped out to a 2-0 lead after just two innings into the game. Brittany Vandeventer reached base to open the game and was able to score on a Corbin throwing error, giving the Lady Cardinals a 1-0 lead after the first inning.

South Laurel scored again in the top of the second inning. Murray doubled to right field and advanced home two batters later, after another throwing error from the Lady Redhounds.  

In just a one-run game, errors seemed to be the deciding factor. Corbin finished the game with four errors, while the Lady Cardinals had none.  

“We play pretty tight defense today. It wasn't just the play at the end. We fielded the ball really well, and had good pitching from Hagen (Burns),” Burns said. “We left a lot of runners on base so we had to make up for that with our defense.”  

For Hart, it came down to his team's mishaps in the game.  

“It was a tough loss, but errors really cost us that game. We committed four errors and against good teams, you can't make those mistakes,” Hart said. “Three of their four runs came on errors and that just kills you.”  

Corbin began their rally in the bottom of the fifth inning. Whitley Gatliff led off the inning with a double and was brought home by a single from Katie Bernardo, cutting the lead to 2-1.  

The Lady Redhounds would take command of the game in the next inning, as singles by Kelly Farley and Megan Greene both brough home runs, giving Corbin a 3-2 lead heading into the final inning.  

South Laurel retaliated in the top of the seventh inning. A bunt down the third base line by eighth-grader Leslie Dixon got things started, as she reached first base and scored the tying on a single by Madyson Morris. Two batters later, fellow eighth-grader Mackenzie Powenski belted a double to center field, bringing home Morris and allowing the Lady Cardinals to take a 4-3 lead that they didn't relinquish.  

“Early we hit the ball real well, then we kind of waited until that last inning to pick it back up,” said Burns. “They got some good pitching out of (Hannah) Hart and we struggled to hit the ball hard, but we ended up getting some hits when it mattered. A win is a win.”  

The win improved South Laurel to 17-2 on the season and 4-0 in the district. Corbin fell to 6-12 on the season and 1-1 in district play.

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