John Henson | Harlan Enterprise

Harlan County coach Tim McElyea talked with seniors Emily Collett (left) and Nikki Creech between innings during Monday’s game against visiting Pineville. HCHS overcame a slow start to win 18-8 in six innings.

Lady Bears overcome slow start to rout Pineville

If the Harlan County Lady Bears thought they were in for an easy game Monday against Pineville, the visiting Lady Lions delivered a message with a three-run first inning.

Harlan County (6-2) recovered and eventually pulled away with seven unanswered runs in the fifth and sixth innings to win 18-8 in six innings.

“We hadn’t played Pineville in a couple of years, but they came to play and came out hitting,” Harlan County coach Tim McElyea said. “I always worry about a mental letdown after a big win, like we had last week over Middlesboro, but we eventually got going tonight.”

Harlan County collected 14 hits, led by senior outfielder Rhileigh Alred with a double and two singles. Hannah Johnson added a triple and double. Nikki Creech had a triple and single. Brandy Adams added a double and single. Allee Galloway had a double. Emily Collett, Destiny Clark, Kerrigan Creech and Emily Sizemore added one single each.

Creech earned the win on the mound as she allowed five runs on seven hits in 5 2/3 innings. Clark gave up three runs on three hits as she faced the first six Pineville hitters.

Virginia Hall led Pineville (1-6) with a double and two singles. Hannah Daniels and Alexis Lefevers added two singles each. Santana Tuttle had a double. Lillie Kelley, Jenna Bogucki and Alyssa Edmondson added one single each.

Galloway provided the two biggest defensive highlights in the game as she threw out two base runners at first base from right field.

Daniels had a two-run single in the first inning as Pineville took the early lead. Johnson and Adams each had RBI doubles in the bottom of the first as HCHS went ahead 4-3.

Johnson tripled home two runs in the second inning. Adams and Galloway each drove in one with hits to push the lead to 8-3.

Pineville scored five runs in third inning to pull even at 8-8. Lefevers and Bogucki each drove in one run and Hall doubled in two.

HCHS capitalized on three Pineville errors after Creech tripled to go up 11-8.

Alred doubled to lead off the fifth, then scored on Nikki Creech’s two-out hit. Collett and Kerrigan Creech each singled in runs to make it 14-8.

Brenna Early walked to open the sixth inning. Alred and Sizemore followed with singles. Two errors and a bases-loaded walk forced in a run. Nikki Creech scored on a wild pitch to end the game via the 10-run mercy rule.

Harlan County returns to action Thursday in the Wizard of Ozz Classic at Letcher Central. Pineville plays host to Harlan on Tuesday.

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Pineville 305 000 — 8. 11. 6

Harlan County 443 034 — 18. 14. 3

Lefevers and Hall; Clark, Creech (1) and Adams. WP — Creech (5-2). LP — Lefevers.