The Bell County Lady Cats wrapped up their regular season Thursday evening with a 7-0 win at Knox Central.
Rachel Yeary pitched a four-hitter with seven strike outs, Kristen Slusher had three hits including a two-run single, while Yeary, Lauren Spurlock and Jess Sanders all had two hits in the game.
Bell jumped on top with two runs in the top of the second inning. Sanders and Haley Goodman opened the frame with base hits and Kendra Taylor drove in the first run with an RBI ground out to short. Yeary followed with an RBI single to make it 2-0.
The third inning saw the Lady Cats add two more runs. Alex Gambrel walked and singled by Slusher and Spurlock loaded the bases. Sanders was retired on an infield fly but Gambrel was able to score. Slusher went to third on a wild pitch and then came home on an error for a 4-0 Bell County advantage.
That was more than enough support for Yeary. The senior retired the first seven batters before Teah Jordan singled with one out in the third for the first Lady Panther hit. Knox threatened in the fourth as Miranda Cornett and Kristin Smith both singled with two out and Elizabeth Smith walked to load the bases, but Yeary fielded a come-backer and threw on to first to end the inning.
Allison Swafford singled to start the sixth and Elizabeth Barrett also looked to have a base hit, but Bell center fielder Alisha Russell fielded the ball and threw to Gambrel covering second for a force out. Yeary came back with a strike out and induced a grounder to first to end the inning.
Bell put the game out of reach with three runs in the top of the sixth. Yeary led off with a bunt single and stole second. One out later Russell reached on an error and also stole second. With two down, Slusher ripped a two-run single back up the middle. She stole second and then scored on Spurlock’s base hit to set the final score at 7-0.
Knox tried to rally in the bottom of the seventh as Smith drew a lead off walk and Bridget Lockard reached on an error. But Yeary induced a ground out, struck out the next batter and got a fly ball to Russell to end the game.
Bell County (24-8) will play Harlan in the first round of the 52nd District Tournament Monday at 5:30 p.m. at Harlan County.
Knox Central (9-9) was scheduled to host Whitley County Friday in their regular season finale. The Lady Panthers will play Pineville in the first round of the 51st District Tournament Monday at 7 p.m. at Lynn Camp.
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Bell County…… 022 003 0 — 7 13 1
Knox Central… 000 000 0 — 0 4 2
Yeary and Slusher; Swafford and Campbell. W — Yeary. L — Swafford.