A deep pitching staff is paying big dividends for the Middlesboro Lady Jackets so far in 2014. Three different pitchers combined to allow just six runs as MHS defeated Lynn Camp, Jackson County and Pineville on the way to their third 13th Region All “A” title in the last four seasons.
“I think it means a lot for these girls to win it and get to back to state, I know it does for the seniors,” Lady Jackets coach Luster Powers said. “We’ve got four seniors and they’ve worked hard to earn it.”
In Friday’s championship game, a 4-2 win over the Pineville Lady Mountain Lions, Makayla Partin worked the first five innings to earn the win while Madison Shields recorded the final six outs for a save.Partin surrendered two runs, one earned, on five hits while striking out seven and walking one. Shields struck out two without allowing a hit or a walk.
Jessica Carter struck out 14 over six innings while allowing just an unearned run on one hit and two walks in a 16-1 win at Lynn Camp in the first round. It was Partin holding Jackson to three runs, two earned, on five hits while striking out seven over five innings in a 13-3 semifinal win over the Lady Generals.
The Lady Jackets trailed only once during the tournament, as Pineville jumped out a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning in the championship game.
“Pineville has improved a lot and I told people three or four years ago to watch out for them because once they got some experiece they’re going to be tough. They battled with us the whole way,” Powers said.
Erica Gambrell and Rebecca Hoskins drew walks and with two out, Rebecca Lee-Theis sent a drive to right that fell in for an error as Gambrell scored.
Middlesboro came back with two runs in the bottom of the second. Shae Moyers led off with a walk and Shields singled. Partin followed with an RBI single to right to tie the game. A passed ball moved runners to second and third and Carter delivered an RBI ground out to first to put the Lady Jackets up 2-1.
The Lady Jackets added two more in the third. Bailey Hensley singled to start the inning, but was forced out at second as Laura Durham reached on a fielder’s choice. Lauren Spurlock followed by reaching on an error as courtesy runner Amanda Biscardi scored. With two down, Shields delivered an RBI single to make it 4-1.
But Middlesboro wouldn’t score again the rest of the way.
The Lady Lions rallied for a run in the top of the fifth. With one out Kelsey Goodin, Emily Mullins and Gambrell all singled to load the bases. Lizzie Lee-Theis followed with a base hit up the middle to make it 4-2. Partin got Hoskins to hit a grounder to third where Spurlock fielded the ball and threw home for a force out and then Rebecca Lee-Theis grounder to second was turned into an inning-ending fielder’s choice by Tiffany Howerton.
That 4-2 score proved to be the final.
Rebecca Lee-Theis pitched well in the loss as the Pineville senior allowed just one earned run on six hits over seven innings while striking out two and walking one.
“We were a little tight and didn’t hit the ball very well, but I attribute a lot of that to Pineville’s pitcher. She moved it around and we never could really hit her hard,” Powers added. “Luckily we got some runs early, I think they made a couple of errors that helped us out. Then were able to stay with it and keep them from coming back.”
In Middlesoro’s 16-1 win over Lynn Camp in the first round, Durham delivered three hits and also reached on an error as Biscardi scored four runs. Spurlock doubled and tripled and drove in two. Carter doubled and Destiny Ford had an RBI sing while Partin reached on three errors, walked and scored four runs.
In the 13-3 semifinal win over Jackson County on Thursday, the Lady Jackets took control with a nine-run first inning.
Hensley, who finished 3-for-4 with two runs and three RBI, singled and then scored on Durham’s double. Spurlock reached on an error, Moyers walked and another run scored as Shields reached on an error. Partin followed with an RBI single, Howerton added an RBI ground out and Ford smacked a two-run single to right to make it 6-0. Hensley added an RBI single and Spurlock belted a two-run double to make it 9-0.
Jackson scored three runs in the second inning, but Partin singled and later scored in the bottom of the frame to make it 10-3. Then, in the fourth, Hensley drove in two with a single to center and Spurlock drew a bases-loaded walk to set the final at 13-3.
Middlesboro (5-1) was playing at South Laurel on Monday and will return to action at home against North Laurel on April 7. Pineville (3-2) is off until they host Leslie County on April 7.
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|Rebecca Lee-Theis and Brooke Sanders; Makayla Partin, Madison Shields (6) and Laura Durham. W — Partin. L — Lee-Theis. Sv — Sheilds.|