She wasn’t quite perfect, but Jessica Carter certainly gave the Middlesboro Lady Jackets another masterful pitching performance on Thursday in a 10-0 Senior Day win over Corbin.
Carter held the Lady Redhouds to just one hit while striking out five, walking one and hitting a batter in the five-inning shutout. It came just one day after Makayla Partin’s perfect game at Pineville.
Corbin’s Hannah Hart was coming off a recent perfect game of her own against Bell County, but it didn’t take the Lady Jackets long to get to her.
Middlesboro senior Megan Prater drew a walk leading off the bottom of the first and senior Kelsie Hensley followed with a beauty of a bunt for a single. By the time Hart fielded the ball, Hensley was nearly to first and Prater was rounding second. Hart considered throwing behind Prater, but when she tried to pull it back the ball slipped out of her and and bounced into centerfield. Prater scored and Hensley advanced all the way to third on the error.
Lauren Spurlock followed with a fly ball to shallow right that was caught by Corbin second baseman Kaitley Jackson. Hensley tagged up and was able to avoid the tag from Callie Schoolcraft at home to make it 2-0.
That was all the support Carter needed, but the Lady Jackets continued to produce all through their lineup and chased Hart in the second inning.
Senior Savanna Miracle drew a walk to open the frame and Tiffany Howerton singled to left. Bailey Hensley moved the runners up with a ground out and Carter helped her own cause with an RBI single to left-center. With two down, Kelsie Hensley reached on an error as Howerton scored and Spurlock delivered an RBI single through the left side and the MHS lead was 5-0.
They added three more runs in the third off Christian Carpenter. Laura Durham and Miracle started the inning with singles to put runners at the corners. Courtesy runner Shae Moyers scored on a passed ball and, one out later, Bailey Hensley smacked a base hit to right-center and stole second. Carter brought Miracle home with a ground out and Prater followed with an RBI double to center for an 8-0 lead.
Middlesboro put the game away with two more runs in the bottom of the fifth. Howerton led off with a single off Hart, two outs later Prater walked. Kelsie Hensley then brought an early end to the contest with a deep drive to left for a two-run, walk-off double.
Katie Bernardo singled in the second inning for Corbin’s only hit. Kelley Farley walked in the first and reached on an error in the third. Sydney Reynolds was hit by a pitch in the second and Lindsey Barton reached on an error in the fifth to account for the other Lady Hound base runners.
Corbin (18-12) will close their regular season at Rockcastle County on Saturday. They host Whitley County in the first round of the 50th District Tournament on Monday at 8 p.m.
Middlesboro finishes the regular season with a record of 18-9. They’re hosting the 52nd District Tournament and will open against Harlan on Monday at 5:30 p.m. The Lady Jackets have beaten the Lady Dragons all four times they’ve played this season, but coach Luster Powers isn’t taken them for granted.
“Harlan’s a good ball club, you can’t take them lightly because they’ll beat you. Coach Lewis up there does a great job with that young group,” Powers said. “We’re going to, hopefully, come out and play our best. I’m pretty confident because we beat them pretty good in the two tournament games we’ve played them, but the two regular season games have been close. I’m hoping that sequence continues for the district. But it’s going to be tough and it really just depends on which team shows up to play their best that night.”
— — —
Corbin……..000 00 — 0 1 2
Middlesboro…233 02 — 10 11 2
Hart, Carpenter (2), Hart (4) and Schoolcraft; Carter and KHensley, Durham (2). W-Carter. L-Hart.