Harlan Daily Enterprise
The Middlesboro Lady Jackets made a fast start stand up for a 7-5 win at Harlan County in Monday’s 52nd District opener.
The Lady Jackets scored the game’s first seven runs before holding off a Lady Bear rally.
Middlesboro’s Megan Prater started the offense with a walk in the first inning. Kelsie Hensley then reached base after being hit by a pitch. Prater scored the first run when Lauren Spurlock reached on an error. Hensley made it 2-0 after she came home on Lindsey Durham’s fielder’s choice grouder.
The Lady Jackets added four runs in the third inning to make it 6-0. Hensley then scored on a Durham single in the fourth inning to push the lead to seven runs.
Harlan County began a comeback attempts in the bottom of the inning.
Kaitlyn Stittums led off the inning with a triple. Savannah Sergent followed with a single to drive in Stittums. Farren Clark brought home Sergent with a single, and later scored on a single from Jesse Johnson.
The Lady Bears closed the gap to 7-5 with a pair of runs in the sixth inning.
“We had a slow start. The leadoff hitter kept getting on, and that’s not good, Most of the time they are going to score,” said Harlan County coach Tim McElyea, who replaces the recently retired Howard White. “I told them they have to keep fighting, and they did. Coach White taught them how to fight. We will be fine.”
Sergent started the offense with a triple to the fence in center field. She scored on a single from Bridget Robinson. Robinson advanced on a Clark single and later scored when Regan Nease hit into a fielder’s choice.
Middlesboro went scoreless in the top of the final inning, but shut out the Lady Bears in the bottom half of the seventh to hold on for the win.
“It feels good to get our first district win,” said Middlesboro coach Luster Powers. “We didn’t finish well. We started strong, and we have to keep that going.”
Stittums and Sergent each had a triple and a single to pace Harlan County at the plate. Clark contributed two singles, while Robinson and Johnson each added a single.
Durham delivered a double and a single to power Middlesboro. Hensley and Makayla Partin each added a single.
Partin struck out six batters in the complete-game victory on the mound. Katie Johnson had 13 strikeouts, while issuing five walks in the loss on the mound.
Middlesboro ran their record against Kentucky schoos to 5-1 on the year with an 11-0 win at Barbourville on Tuesday. They return to district play on Friday at Harlan. Harlan County (2-4 overall, 0-1 district) was set to host Corbin on Tuesday.
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Middlesboro… 204 100 0 — 7 4 0
Harlan Co…… 000 302 0 — 5 8 5
Partin and Durham; Johnson and Robinson. WP — Partin. LP — Johnson.