Fresh off winning the Billy Joe Idol Memorial Tournament over the weekend, the Middlesboro Lady Jackets stayed hot on Tuesday with a 10-0 win over Pineville.
Freshman Lauren Spurlock struck out six and didn’t walk a batter while pitching a two-hit shut out over six innings to earn the win.
“Lauren does a great job for us even though we haven’t been able to throw her a lot in varsity games. We’re better defensively when we she’s at third, but Laura (Durham) is doing a pretty good job over there without much experience,” said Lady Jacket coach Luster Powers. “Lauren is going to be a good one for us for the next several years. She’s just got to learn to use the bottom part of her body a little more when she pitches.”
Pineville’s Rebecca Lee-Theis kept the Lady Lions in the game for most of the evening. She allowed just two earned runs over the first five innings, but Middlesboro batted around in the sixth and scored six runs to put the game away.
“We stayed right with them for most of the game. Then in the sixth inning we let a few bloopers get to us,” Pineville coach Shari Knuckles said.
Senior center fielder Megan Prater walked to start the bottom of the first and stole second. Kelsie Hensley singled and also stole second. Spurlock helped her own cause with a sacrifice fly to center that scored Prater for a 1-0 MHS lead. Lady Lion catcher Brooke Sanders threw Hensley out trying to steal third and Lee-Theis came back with a strike out to end the inning.
Pineville senior Ali Knuckles singled to open the top of the second, but got doubled off at first after Spurlock snagged a little liner.
Middlesboro added a pair of unearned runs in their half of the second. Durham singled and two outs later Makayla Partin walked. They both came around to score as Jessica Carter reached on an error.
The score remained 3-0 until the bottom of the fifth. Prater lined a single to left-center, stole second and then scored on Hensley’s base hit to left.
“Really, I was disappointed in our offense. We didn’t hit the ball in the first three or four innings. Maybe they were just tired,” Powers added. “We finally started hitting it there at the end, but we didn’t hit the ball hard all night.”
The Lady Lions got their only other base runner in the top of the sixth as Emily Mullins beat Spurlock’s throw to first on a swinging bunt. She advanced to second on Kelsey Goodin’s ground out, but was left stranded there.
Middlesboro scored six times in the bottom of the sixth to put the game away. Senior Carissa Padgett started the rally with a double into the left-center field gap and took third on an error. Durham walked and stole second, then with one out, Tiffany Howerton smacked one back up the box for a two-run single. Partin reached on an error and Carter delivered an RBI grounder, she was safe and Partin also came around to score on another error to push the lead to 8-0. Prater added an RBI double, Hensley knocked her third hit of the game, and Spurlock ended it with a bloop double that fell in behind third along the left field line as Prater scored the walk-off run.
Pineville (5-6) is scheduled to host Knox Central today at 5:30 p.m. in make-up 51st District game. Middlesboro (12-3) hosts Harlan County on Thursday and then leaves Friday for the State All “A” Tournament in Owensboro.
— — —
Pineville………000 000 — 0 2 4
Middlesboro…120 016 — 10 9 0
Rebecca Lee-Theis and Brooke Sanders; Lauren Spurlock and Kelsie Hensley. W-Spurlock. L-Lee-Theis.