HHS avenges loss to Lady Jackets

Published 8:31 pm Tuesday, May 8, 2018

After claiming a three-run lead in the bottom half of the fourth inning, the situation started going south for Middlesboro during its district clash Tuesday against Harlan. The Lady Dragons were able to take advantage of several key errors en route to a 12-6 victory, avenging a 15-2 loss in April at Harlan.

“We hit the ball, we put the ball in play and forced the defense to make the plays,” said Harlan coach David Overbay. “We came out with the victory. Middlesboro’s a good team.”

Four of the Harlan’s runs in the final three innings came off errors.

“Against good teams, you’ve got to take advantage of (errors). They did that when they played (at Harlan), and it was the other way around (tonight),” said Overbay. “I think we had five errors or six. We didn’t play a perfect game either, but we’ll take it.”

Ashley Overbay picked up the win, pitching a complete game while allowing 15 hits and six runs.

Five Lady Dragons tallied two runs during the game. Jayda Young paced Harlan at the plate, going two-for-four with two runs. AnnMarie Bianchi scored two runs on two hits, while Kaytlin Cornett tallied two runs on one hit and two walks.

Katelyn Burkhart and Payton Bennett finished the game with two runs apiece without registering a hit. Burkhart reached on two errors, and Bennett reached on three walks.

Middlesboro was able to make contact at the plate, but they couldn’t get the timely hit when they needed it. In addition to that, they couldn’t get the outs they needed later in the game to slow Harlan’s momentum.

“(Errors) have been the problem for about the last three or four games. We seem like we don’t make the plays when have to,” said Middlesboro coach Petie Gilbert. “I guess we need to get back to the drawing board. It was the same way (against Corbin). We just throw the ball all over the place. We just ain’t making plays.”

Hannah McCullough was credited with the loss, allowing 11 runs on six hits through 5 2/3 innings. Megan Gent closed the game for the Lady Jackets.

At the plate, it was Aubrey Sowders and Brooke Foister that led Middlesboro. Sowders finished the game with two RBIs on three hits. Foister went 3-for-4 with one run. McCullough scored two runs and tallied two RBIs on three hits, while Gent drove in one run and scored two of her own on one hit.

The Lady Jackets jumped out on top early with McCullough scoring from the lead-off position on the Jamayha Poe single to give Middlesboro a 1-0 lead in the first.

The game remained silent until Harlan found the scoreboard in the third. With one out, an RBI single by Savanna Smith tied the game at 1-1. An RBI by Young gave the Lady Dragons a 2-1 lead.

Middlesboro got the bats going again in the bottom half of the fourth. A two-run double by McCullough gave the Lady Jackets a 3-2 lead with one out on the board. The sophomore eventually reached home on a double by Gent to increase the lead to 4-2.

An RBI double by Sowders ended the fourth with Middlesboro holding a 5-2 lead.

Harlan began gaining momentum in the fifth inning. Young found home on an RBI by Burkhart to cut the lead to 5-3. Bianchi scored on a passed ball before an RBI single from Haven Saylor tied the game at 5-5. Saylor and Cornett gave the Lady Dragons a 7-5 lead after both runners scored on fielding errors.

Harlan continued to build on its lead in the sixth with Young, Bennett, Bianchi and Burkhart each scoring runs to increase the lead to 11-5.

An error led to a run for Middlesboro in the bottom half of the sixth to cut the deficit to 11-6. Bennett capped the game, scoring a run on a fielder’s choice in the seventh to secure the victory for the Lady Dragons.

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Kelsey Tye won a pitchers’ duel against Overbay on Monday as Williamsburg edged the visiting Lady Dragons 3-0.

Harlan was limited to two hits — a double by Overbay and single by Burkhart.

Overbay struck out four and walked none in another complete-game effort.

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Up Next

Harlan (11-4) returns to action at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday at home againstt Harlan County (12-7).

Middlesboro (9-7) hits the road at 6 p.m. on Thursday to play at South Laurel (17-10).

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

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Harlan 002 540 1 — 12 9 5

Middlesboro 100 401 0 — 6 8 5

Overbay and Cornett; McCullough, Gent (6) and Foister. WP — Overbay (11-4), LP — McCullough

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Harlan 000 000 0 — 0 2 5

Williamsburg 000 300 x — 3 4 0

Overbay and Cornett; Tye and Prewitt. WP — Tye. LP — Overbay (10-4).