A long season is going to have it’s share of peaks and valleys and the Middlesboro Lady Jackets are riding a high right now. The Lady Jackets have put a five-game losing steak far in the rear view mirror with three straight wins, on Monday they scored ten runs over the final two innings to pull away for a 16-4 victory at Bell County.
“It seems like they want to wait until late in the game before they get started. It drives me crazy, but it seems to be working right now so I’m not going to say a whole lot,” MHS coach Luster Powers said. “This was a big district win just like the one we had at Harlan County. Harlan County still has to play both Bell County and Harlan so you never know what can happen. It’s going to be interesting.”
Laura Durham belted three doubles and drove in five runs to lead the way. Middlesboro also got two singles a double each from Lauren Spurlock and Makayla Partin while Jessica Carter added a two-run single, walked twice and scored four times.
Jess Sanders led the Lady Cats with a double and a single to drive in one run Beverly Burkhart singled twice to drive in one runs and score one. Courtney Baker had an RBI double while Kadi Cordell, Emily Saylor and Bethany Miracle also scored runs in the game.
The Lady Jackets struck first with two runs in the top of the second. Carter reached on an error and Tiffany Howerton walked. A passed ball moved the runners up to second and third with one out and Carter scored on an RBI ground out from senior Amanda Biscardi. Durham followed with an RBI double.
Bell County answered with a run in the third. Saylor reached on an error and advanced to third on Miracle’s ground out. Sanders brought her home with a double to center to cut the lead to one.
The Lady Jackets got an RBI double from Partin, an RBI ground out from Bailey Hensley and a run scoring single from Spurlock to extend the lead to 5-1 in the third, taking advantage of two Bell errors in the inning.
“It basically boils down to errors. Until we can hold down our errors we’re not going to see the other end of the outcome,” Bell coach Hammons.
Burkhart singled for the Lady Cats in the fourth and Courtney Cinnamon walked one out later. Baker followed with an RBI double to right-center. Whitney Mullins then grounded out to Spurlock in the pitcher’s circle and Carter was able to throw home in time to get Cinnamon out and end the inning with the score still 5-2.
Biscardi drew a bases-loaded walk in the fifth but Bell got out of the jam with their own double-play. Baker fielded a comebacker and turned it into a 1-2-5 double-play to end that inning.
In bottom of the fifth, Miracle and Cordell both reached on errors and with two out Burkhart slapped a base hit to right. Miracle scored easily on the play and Cordell also came around to score on an error to bring the Lady Cats within 6-4.
“Beverly came through when we needed something, I was very proud of her. I was actually very proud of all of our bats. They all came around to some degree,” Hammons added. “The scoreboard doesn’t always reflect the progress that they’re making but I see it.”
Middlesboro put the game out of reach with seven runs in the sixth inning and they were helped out by three Bell errors in the frame.
Hensley led the sixth off with a single and came around to score on a Spurlock hit. Shae Moyers also singled and Carter lined an RBI single to left and Moyers scored on an error on the play. Howerton reached on an error, Partin singled and Durham cleared the bases with a double to the fence in left-center. Courtesy runner Lauren Padgett later scored on a throwing error to make it 13-4.
Carter added a sac fly, Partin an RBI single and Durham another RBI double in seventh to set the final at 16-4.
Spurlock struck out eleven while allowing four runs, two earned, on five hits and two walks over seven innings to get the win.
“Lauren pitched a good game. She got in a bind a couple of times but worked her way out of it,” Powers added. “She’s not pitched a whole lot of varsity ball this season with her elbow hurting her. It’s coming down to the postseason and you never know when you might need another pitcher.”
Middlesboro (13-8) hosts Clay County on Thursday. Bell County (1-9) was scheduled to play at Harlan on Tuesday.
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|Lauren Spurlock and Laura Durham; Courtney Baker and Jess Sanders. W — Spurlock. L — Baker.|