The Lady Jackets celebrated Senior Night in a big way on Friday. Middlesboro tied their season-high in runs and pounded out 20 hits on the way to a 16-1 win over Knox Central in four innings.
“We came out hitting the ball real well. They were just up for the game and ready to go I guess,” Lady Jacket coach Luster Powers said. “We hit it hard and batted around in the first and second inning. Hopefully we can carry it on into the post season.”
Every spot in the MHS lineup produced at least one run scored and one RBI. Junior shortstop Shae Moyers led the way with four hits while Laura Durham, Lauren Spurlock and Jessie Carter all had three hits apiece. Bailey Hensley and Makayla Partin both singled and doubled.
Senior outfielder Destiny Ford had two hits, including an RBI single and scored two runs. Senior outfielder Amanda Biscardi had a two-run double and scored a run. And senior second baseman Tiffany Howerton reached on an error, scored a run and added an RBI groundout.
Before the game those three seniors were introduced to the crowd along with their families and presented with presents by their coaches and teammates. Powers said he’s enjoyed coaching all of them.
“They’re all great kids, they work hard and they do what you ask them to do. I started Amanda and Des both along with Tiffany and they all came out and hit the ball hard. It was great to see it happen on Senior Night,” he said.
Partin was the beneficiary of all the run support. The junior held the Lady Panthers to one run on four hits over her four innings while striking out nine and walking one.
The Lady Jackets took control early, putting up five runs in the first inning and nine in the second.
Durham and Hensley opened the bottom of the first with back-to-back doubles for a 1-0 lead. Spurlock followed with an RBI single and singles by Moyers and Carter produced a third run. Howerton added an RBI ground out and Ford an RBI single as Middlesboro opened up a 5-0 lead.
Knox Central got on the board in the second with a two-out rally. Savannah Abner singled and went to second as Hannah Corey reached on a fielder’s choice. Kristen Jones followed with an RBI single.
Middlesboro’s offense was back up and running in their half of the second. Durham doubled again, Hensley walked and both runs scored on a Spurlock single. Moyers doubled, Carter hit an RBI single and Partin drove in two with a base hit to push the lead to 10-1. Later in the inning Biscardi belted a two-run double into the right-center gap. Hensley and Moyers tacked on RBI singles as the lead grew to 14-1.
In the Lady Jacket third Ford singled with one out, moved to second on a Biscardi grounder and scored on Durham’s single.
Up 15-1 going into the bottom of the fourth Middlesboro needed just one run to bring the 15-run rule into effect. With one out, they got singles from Moyers and Carter. Partin provided the walk-off hit with and RBI double to set the final at 16-1.
Cassi Hale walked in the first inning and doubled in the third for Knox Central while Abner also singled in the fourth for the only other Lady Panther base runners.
Middlesboro (15-9) plays at Harlan at 7:30 p.m. in the first round of the 52nd District Tournament. The Lady Jackets enter the postseason as a real wildcard in the 13th Region. North Laurel and South Laurel have combined to win ever the region every year since they joined the 13th in 2006 and those teams are again considered the favorites. Clay County and Corbin look like they may have something to say about how the region plays out and then there’s MHS.
The Lady Jackets have been competitive with those top four teams and have a 3-0 win over North Laurel resume. But that reasume also has them splitting a pair of one-run games against Harlan and also splitting with Harlan County.
“It’s whatever team shows up on any given day. If we show up ready to play and wanting to play we can beat anybody around here. If we come out sluggish and not hitting the ball we can be beat by anybody around here,” Powers sad. “It’s just according to the girls and what kind of mood they’re in when they get to the field. Hopefully they realized that any game now we lose, it could be over for us.”
Knox Central (7-25) takes on Barbourville at Pineville at 7:30 p.m. on Monday in the first round of the 51st District Tournament.
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|Hannah Corey and Kristen Jones; Makayla Partin and Laura Durham. W-Partin. L-Corey.|