HARROGATE, Tenn. — The Cumberland Gap Lady Panthers opened the season with a 9-3 win over Harlan on Tuesday.
Senior Danielle Caldwell went all seven innings to earn the win. All three Lady Dragon runs were unearned as Caldwell gave up just two hits and walked two while striking out eight.
Chelsey Williams led the Cumberland Gap offense with three hits, including an RBI single, and two runs scored. Kaitlin McCarty belted two doubles and drove in four runs while Olivia Price also had two hits in the game.
The Lady Panthers struck first with a run in the bottom of the first inning. McKenzie Miracle led off by beating out an infield hit, stole second, and then scored on McCarty’s one-out double to center.
Harlan threatened in the third inning when Anna Karst reached on an error. Torri Mitchell doubled to right-center with two outs, but Miracle ran the ball down from her spot in center field and got it in to McCarty at short. McCarty’s relay throw to Price at home was in time to retire Karst and end the inning.
Lady Dragon pitcher Madison Noe kept Cumberland Gap off the board until the bottom of the fifth inning, when the Lady Panthers erupted for five runs to put the game away.
Jordan Thacker started the rally with a base hit to right and Price added an infield single into the hole at short. One out later, Chelsey Williams brought Thacker home with a bunt single to make it 2-0. Miracle reached to load the bases and Harlan third baseman Jourdan Ledford fielded a Caldwell grounder and threw home to force out Price. McCarty followed with a two-run double and Lindsey Elliott added a two-run single to stretch the lead to 6-0 after five.
Cumberland Gap added three more runs in the sixth. Price singled and one out later McKayla Hamilton brought her home with a double to right. Williams singled and Caldwell then delivered a two-out double down the left field line to plate Hamilton and Williams and it was 9-0.
Harlan managed to score three runs in the top of the seventh without the benefit of a hit. Heather Holland walked with one out and then came around to score when Alyssa Mills reached on an error. Kaylee McNeil also reached on an error and she and Mills both scored when Noe’s liner to right dropped in for the Lady Panthers’ third error of the inning. Caldwell got Karst to pop out to McCarty to end the game.
Both teams return to action this evening with Cumberland Gap hosting Chuckey-Doak for a district double-header and Harlan visiting Jenkins.
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Madison Noe and Heather Holland; Danielle Caldwell and Oiva Price. W-Caldwell. L-Noe.