By Les Dixon / Sports Editor
SOUTH LAUREL — The South Laurel Lady Cardinals were coming off a three-day rest heading into Tuesday’s match-up with Madison Southern and it showed.
The Lady Eagles collected three hits in the first inning and took advantage of three errors and two walks to build a 6-0 lead and never looked back against James Burns’ squad.
Madison Southern had to hold off a late comeback attempt by South Laurel, but a two-run homer by Tara Bord in the top of the seventh inning put the finishing touches on the Lady Eagles’ 9-5 win, which also turned out to be the Lady Cardinals’ first loss at home.
“It was just one of those games,” Burns said. “Everyone has them once in a while. I’m not really concerned yet. We just need to stop the bleeding. Now if we lose another game like this, then I’ll be concerned.
“We made three errors in the first inning and allowed six runs and all were unearned,” he added. “You have to give them credit, though. They hit the ball really well. We tried to fight back.”
Madison Southern opened things up thanks to the hitting Briana Latham and Morgan Reynolds. Latham connected with a two-run single to give her team a 2-0 edge while Reynolds’ two-run single to center field increased the Lady Eagles’ lead to 6-0.
Madison Southern added another run in the top of the third after Bethany Mays connected with a run-scoring single off South Laurel’s Megan Smith, who replaced Hagan Burns on the mound in the second inning. Burns struggled in the circle allowing three hits and four walks in the loss.
After leaving runners on first and third in the third inning and first and second in the fourth, South Laurel finally got on the scoreboard in the fifth inning.
Bunt singles by Madyson Morris and Brittany Vandeventer and a fielder’s choice by Amber Hyde set up Bailey Miller’s two-run single, which cut South Laurel’s deficit to 7-2. Smith followed with a two-run double and made the score, 7-4.
The Lady Cardinals scored another run in the bottom of the sixth inning, but couldn’t get any closer, as Bord’s two-run blast over the center field fence gave Madison Southern two insurance runs and pushed the Lady Eagles’ lead to 9-5.
South Laurel’s Hagan Burns led the bottom of the seventh off with a single, but the Lady Cardinals were set down in order after her hit.
“I’m not making any excuses, but we’ve got one player in the hospital and our shortstop had surgery today,” Burns said. “We just weren’t mentally in it. We need to come back in our next game and play better.”