Lady Jackets fall in scrimmage

Published 7:55 pm Thursday, March 15, 2018

With the softball season officially starting on Monday, Middlesboro got one last chance to get some work in before the year kicks off. The Lady Jackets fell 13-5 against Claiborne on Thursday in what was an official game for the Lady Bulldogs.

“We knew coming in that the pitcher hadn’t thrown against any live (batting). We worked in the gym, but we hadn’t had much opportunity to be on the field,” said Middlesboro assistant coach Aaron Sowders. “Taylor (Yoakum) struggled a little in her three innings, and she was going to pitch three innings regardless of the outcome. We weren’t playing today to worry about the score. It was more or less giving everybody an opportunity to look at situations and different positions.”

Jamayha Poe paced Middlesboro offensively scoring two runs during the game. Megan Gent was consistent at the plate going 3-for-4 with one run.

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Macy Mink went 2-for-3 at the plate with two singles and a run. Hannah McCullough struggled from the lead-off position, but ended the day with a run after reaching on a single.

“Offensively, we struggled early on. We hadn’t seen any live pitching. This is really the first opportunity that we’ve had out to be in a game situation,” said Sowders. “Defensively, I thought that our outfielders did an excellent job getting the balls in the gap, hitting the cuts (and) hitting the relays.”

For Claiborne, it was a good hitting night with all but one player in the lineup scoring a run. Jaden Thompson and Isabelle Widner led the Lady Bulldogs with three runs a piece. Rachel Cupp also crossed home plate a couple of times.

Despite losing the game, the scrimmage was a chance for the coaches to see how the team would perform on the field.

“Coach (Petie) Gilbert will be back this weekend, and we’ll sit down and talk. Hannah (McCullough’s pitching) was a positive,” said Sowders. “Taylor Yoakum did a fine job when we moved her out to the outfield. She hit a relay and we got a girl out at home.

“We just get an idea of where we can play certain people depending on who is pitching. We’re just going to have to keep taking it a game at a time until we get a lineup we’re comfortable with and that’s productive.”

Up Next

Middlesboro will open the season with the 13th Region All A Classic. The Lady Jackets will square off against Pineville in the opening round at 5:30 p.m. on Monday.

Reach Anthony Cloud at 606-302-9090 or on Twitter @AnthonyCloudMDN