Chris Jones | Daily Enterprise

Harlan County’s Emily Collett forced out Harlan’s Savanna Smith during a district clash Thursday. Smith had two hits in the Lady Dragons’ 2-1 victory. Harlan fell 15-2 to Middlesboro on Friday.

Middlesboro rolls past Lady Dragons

One day after playing their best in a 2-1 win at Harlan County on Thursday, the Harlan Lady Dragons were at their worst Friday in a 15-2 loss to visiting Middlesboro.

“They just didn’t come to play. I knew before the game it was going to be a long night,” Harlan coach David Overbay said. “I told them that Middlesboro was a good team. I think they are overlooked. They put the ball in play.”

The Lady Jackets wore out the Harlan infield with a steady stream of well-placed bunts, moving base runners throughout the game and forcing six errors.

“They played the short game. I wondered how they had been scoring so many runs, and I see now. They have speed and executed,” Overbay said. “We have to learn from this and move on. We’ve never played well against Middlesboro here. We beat them 1-0 over there last year and we came here and they run-ruled us.”

“We have been practicing hard executing bunts and the hit and run, and I thought we did a great job of that today,” Middlesboro coach Petie Gilbert said.

Sophomore right-hander Hannah McCullough shut out the Lady Dragons through four innings before finishing with a three-hitter that included seven strikeouts and three walks.

“She was in control. She has come a long way and is getting better every game,” Gilbert said.

McCullough also led the Lady Jackets at the plate with two triples and two singles in four at bats. Taylor Yoakum had three singles. Jamayha Poe had a double and single. Macy Mink and Virginia Marcum each singled twice. Shelby Frazier and Brooke Foister each contributed a triple and Megan Gent and Aubrey Sowder each added a double.

AnnMarie Bianchi doubled for Harlan. Kaitlyn Cornett and Savanna Smith contributed one single each.

Middlesboro found success with the bunt early as McCullough led off with a single, moved up on Mink’s sacrifice and scored the first run on Gent’s double.

McCullough had a two-run triple in the second inning and Mink followed with a single as the lead grew to 4-0.

Poe opened the third inning with a double and scored on Yoakum’s single. Two sacrifice bunts led to two more runs before McCullough followed with another RBI triple. Mink beat out an RBI single to make the score 8-0.

Middlesboro exploded for six runs in the fourth inning on hits by Sowders, Poe, Yoakum, Marcum, Frazier and McCullough. Foister tripled in the fifth inning and came around to score on errant throw.

Harlan avoided the shutout as Bianchi doubled and Katelyn Burkhart walked in the fifth inning before both scored on Cornett’s two-run single.

Ashley Overbay suffered the loss as she gave up all 15 runs on 17 hits while striking out none and walking one, only one night after dominating Harlan County

Middlesboro (6-2) will be at home Monday against Clay County. Harlan (6-3) will travel to Jackson County on Monday.

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Middlesboro 134 61 — 15 17 0

Harlan 000 02 — 2 3 6

McCullough and Marcum; Overbay and Cornett. WP — McCullough. LP — Overbay (6-3).

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An 11-run explosion in the second inning sent Harlan to a 16-0 win Tuesday at Knox Central.

Ashley Overbay pitched a two-hitter to earn the victory.

Jayda Young, Savanna Smith and Overbay had three singles each. Kaitlyn Cornett and AnnMarie Bianchi each added a double and single. Hannah Jones singled twice. Payton Bennett had a double. Haven Saylor added a single.

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Harlan 5(11)0 — 16 17 0

Knox Central 000 — 0 2 2

Overbay and Cornett; Partin, Gambrel (2) and Hale. WP — Overbay (5-2). LP — Partin.