Not many teams have shown as much improvement with their record as the Middlesboro Lady Jackets have from last year to this one. Monday’s 16-0 win over Barbourville puts MHS at 16-8 overall, after finishing 2012 with an 11-19 mark.
The Lady Jackets have put a four-game losing streak in the rear view mirror by winning three of their last four. Monday’s win came in impressive fashion as all nine batters not only had at least one hit, but also either scored or drove in runs.
Senior center fielder Megan Prater led the way with two singles and a double. She scored twice and drove in two. Laura Durham and Makayla Partin both singled and doubled while Savanna Miracle and Tiffany Howerton also had two hits apiece. Carissa Padgett and Bailey Hensley both doubled while Kelsie Hensley singled and scored three runs and Lauren Spurlock drove in three runs with a single, a ground out and a sac fly.
Spurlock was also the winning pitcher. She gave up just one hit over three innings while striking out three and walking one.
Middlesboro jumped on top with three runs in the bottom of the first. Prater led off with a single to left and stole second. Kelsie Hensley laid down a bunt and advanced all the way to third on a throwing error as Prater scored. Spurlock followed with and RBI ground out to short. Padgett walked, went to third on a Durham single, and later scored on a delayed steal of home.
In the second inning the Lady Jackets got an RBI single from Spurlock, back-to-back RBI doubles from Padgett and Durham, then a two-out single from Howerton and an RBI double from Bailey Hensley that pushed the lead to 7-0.
Barbourville’s only hit was a single by Amber Mills in the first inning. Taylor Logan drew a walk in the third and Hannah Corey twice reached on errors.
The Lady Jackets brought an early end to the game with nine runs in the bottom of the third.
Partin and Prater started the rally with singles and they both came around to score as Kelsie Hensley reached on an error. Spurlock brought Hensley home with a fly ball to center for a 10-0 lead.
Padgett walked, Durham reached on an error and Miracle singled to load the bases. Howerton followed with a two-run single, Bailey Hensley walked and Partin and Prater both delivered two-run doubles to finish the game off.
Middlesboro (16-8) was scheduled to play at South Laurel on Tuesday and will finish the regular season at home on Thursday against Corbin.
The Lady Jackets are the top seed and host for the 52nd District Tournament. They’ll take on Harlan in the first round on Monday.
Barbourville (5-17) closes out the regular season with games at home against Whitley County on Friday and at Clay County on Saturday.
— — —
Barbourville… 0 0 0 — 0 1 4
Middlesboro…3 4 9 — 16 15 2
Corey and Mills; Spurlock and KHensley. W-Spurlock. L-Corey.