A competitive game turned ugly in a hurry Monday as Harlan lost pitcher Madison Noe in the sixth inning. The Lady Dragons trailed by just four late in the 13th Region All ‘A’ Classic opening round contest, but eventually fell 14-3 without their starting pitcher.
Megan Prater scored in the first inning as the Lady Jackets jumped out to an early lead.
Prater, Kelsie Hensley, Erica Johnson , Taylor Powers and Shae Money each scored in the second inning as Middlesboro took control.
However, the Lady Dragons didn’t go away. After Prater scored to stretch the lead to 7-0 in the fourth inning, Harlan answered with a pair of runs in the bottom of the inning. Noe and Anna Karst each single to start the offense before Kristina Fields delivered a double to drive in both runs.
Harlan cut the deficit to four with another run in the fifth inning. This time Logan Brown reached on a single and Fields doubled in pinch-runner Desiree Bowman.
With Noe out of the contest, Middlesboro pulled away in the seventh inning. Hensley, Powers, Money, Lindsey Durham, Savannah Miracle, Carissa Padgett and Ashlee Yowell all scored in the final inning to put the game out of reach.
Fields powered Harlan at the plate with a triple and a double. Noe recorded a double and a single, while Karst and Brown each added a single.
Prater contributed three singles to pace Middlesboro. Johnson delivered a double, and Hensley added a single.
Durham struck out eight batters to pick up the complete-game victory on the mound.
Noe recorded five strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings in the loss.
The Lady Dragons struggles in the field with seven errors.
“I think the girls are still nervous. Errors played a big role, and we made some at positions where we normally don’t give up errors,” Lewis said.
Middlesboro (1-2) will host Barbourville today in the second round of the 13th Region All ‘A’ Classic, while Harlan (2-3) travels to Cordia on Thursday.
— — —
Middlesboro 150 100 7 — 14 5 1Harlan 000 210 0 — 3 6 7
Durham and Hensley; Noe, Mills (6), Fields (7) and Holland. W-Durham (1-2). L-Noe (2-3).