Sophomore Makayla Partin twirled a seven-inning perfect game on Wednesday to lead the Middlesboro Lady Jackets to a 7-0 win at Pineville in a make-up game.
Partin finished with nine strikeouts, induced six grounders and only let two fly balls leave in the infield in the gem.
“I was just planning on pitching her just two or three innings. Makayla hadn’t had much work since last Friday and I was just wanting her to get some work in,” Lady Jacket coach Luster Powers said. “About the third inning I realized she was working on a perfect game so I just kept letting her go out there. If they had broken it up I would have probably let Spurlock finish it out, but she kept chugging along so I left her in there.”
Middlesboro provided all the support Partin would need with three runs in the top of the first inning. Kelsie Hensley drew a walk with one out and Lauren Spurlock doubled. Hensley scored the first run, then Laura Durham singled and Savanna Miracle was hit by a pitch to load the bases with two out. Tiffany Howerton’s two-run single to left brought in two runs and it was 3-0.
Emily Mullins led off the bottom of the first with a fly ball to left, but Hensley was able to run it down. Spurlock fielded a grounder by Erica Gambrell at third and throw on to first for the second out. Partin got a strikeout to end the inning.
The second inning saw Savanna Miracle come up with a grounder to first off the bat of Rebecca Lee-Theis and Hensley ran down another fly ball off the bat of Brooke Sanders. From there Partin kept the Lady Lions from squaring up just about everything as a ball didn’t leave the infield the rest of the way.
“Defensively we played real well. They hit the ball pretty good the first two innings, but Makayla seems to get stronger as the game goes on,” Powers added.
Lee-Theis didn’t pitch badly at all for Pineville. She struck out seven over her seven innings while allowing seven runs, four earned, on ten hits and two walks.
Middlesboro tacked on a run in the third as Durham reached on an error, courtesy runner Kadi Cordell advanced to third on a ground out by Miracle and then scored on Howerton’s ground out to third.
Durham doubled in the fifth and Cordell came home as Miracle reached on an error to make it 5-0.
Carissa Padgett tripled to bring home Spurlock with two out in the sixth. The final run scored in the seventh as Bailey Hensley singled and later scored on a passed ball.
“We didn’t the ball real well. We had some that hit it hard, but there were a couple of times we left the bases loaded. I don’t know if we just couldn’t adjust from playing South Laurel (Tuesday) or what,” Powers said.
Middlesboro appears to be close to hitting their peak as the District Tournament approaches. They’ve won four of their last six with one loss coming at Corbin last Friday when the Lady Redhounds scored two runs on a throwing error in the seventh inning to pull out a 4-3 win and the other a 6-4 loss at South Laurel.
“We went through a little slump hitting wise and the ones that were slumping are hitting the ball better now,” said Powers. “(South Laurel) scored two in the first and had a girl to hit a three-run home run in second inning to make it 5-1. Jess (Carter) shut them down from there until the sixth inning and we got it to 5-4. They got a run in the sixth and we had the top of the order coming to bat in the seventh so I thought we were in pretty good shape, but we just couldn’t get anybody on base.”
Pineville was coming off a 16-0 win at Lynn Camp that snapped a six-game losing streak. The Lady Lions played a good game on defense with just three errors, but just couldn’t get their bats going against Partin.
Pineville (6-12) hosts Bell County today at 5:30 p.m. and then closes the regular season at home with a double-header against Harlan on Saturday with the first game starting at 1 p.m. The Lady Lions will play Barbourville in the first round of the 51st District Tournament on Tuesday at Walnut Street Park.
Middlesboro (17-9) closes out the regular season at home against Corbin today at 6 p.m. The Lady Jackets are hosting the 52nd District Tournament where they’ll play Harlan on Monday at 5:30 p.m.
“It’s the final regular season game. I’d like for everybody to come out and support our seniors, most of them have been here for four years,” Powers added. “We’re hosting the district (tournament) starting on Monday. Hopefully folks will come out and support us for that as well. It’s a big time for us.”
— — —
Middlesboro… 301 011 1 — 7 10 0
Pineville……….000 000 0 — 0 0 3
Makayla Partin and Laura Durham; Rebecca Lee-Theis and Brooke Sanders. W-Partin. L-Lee-Theis.