Harlan County dominates Lady Cats

Published 11:23 am Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Four days after setting the state record for strikeouts in a game, the Lady Cats struggled against the Lady Bears at home in a 14-1 loss on Monday.

Bell County allowed 13 hits and gave up 14 runs in the rematch. Bell County defeated Harlan County, 6-3, on the road on April 9.

“Harlan County can hit the ball all the way through the lineup,” said Bell County coach Alex Barnett. “They seemed to be able to put just about everything in play today. We came out a little flat. I felt like we lacked intensity throughout the game. We are just going to get back to work and work on some of the fundamental things that we still make mistakes on.

Email newsletter signup

“I’m proud of the way we competed. Harlan County is a well-coached team with a lot of good players. Hopefully we can shake this off quickly and get back to our brand of softball.”

Harlan County was in control from the beginning of the game, taking an early 2-0 lead in the first inning and never surrendered the lead.

“We’ve been taking extra batting practice lately,” said Harlan County coach Tim McElyea. “We’ve been struggling in the lower part of the lineup a little bit. Bell came out last time and just poured it on us. This time, we weren’t as surprised. Bell County has had a huge improvement.

“The extra batting practice and field practice has really paid off for us. Last time our pitcher, Kerrigan Creech, just didn’t have a good game and Bell hit her hard. She really adjusted well with her off-speed pitches and threw strikes all day. I’m very proud of how she responded. With Bell coming out and hitting us in the mouth in early April, it wasn’t hard for the girls to be ready to go for this one. I’m proud of the way we played.”

Bell County’s Mackenzie Miller was credited with the loss after allowing 14 runs on 13 hits in six innings pitched, with seven strikeouts and five walks.

Kerrigan Creech picked up the win inside the circle after giving up only one run on two hits in seven innings pitched. She finished the night with seven strikeouts and no walks.

Hannah Johnson got things going in the first inning with an RBI double, giving Harlan County the 1-0 lead. She then rounded home after an errant throw to third base, giving the Lady Bears a quick 2-0 lead in the first inning.

In the bottom half of the second, Makenize Napier hit a deep ball to right field. Harlan County’s right fielder attempted to dive for the catch and was unable to come up with the ball, allowing Napier to advance all the way to third base. An RBI double by Baylee Allen brought Napier home for Bell County’s lone run of the game, cutting the Lady Bears’ lead to 2-1.

Harlan County added 12 unanswered runs throughout the remainder of the game to secure the 13-run victory over the Lady Cats.

Johnson drove in four runs on three doubles for the Lady Bears. Kerrigan Creech drove in three runs with a double and two singles. Brandy Adams drove in three runs with a double and single. Emily Collett added a double and single. Nikki Creech singled twice and Rhileigh Alred had a double.

Bell County (6-3) traveled to Leslie County to take on the Lady Eagles Tuesday. Harlan County (8-3) took on the Middlesboro Lady Jackets on Tuesday in Middlesboro.


Harlan County 204 300 5 — 14. 13. 0

Bell County 010 000 0 — 1. 2. 2

Creech and Adams; Miller and Napier. WP — K. Creech (7-3). LP — Miller.