By Don Brown
April 3, 2014
The Cougar softball team picked up a nice win last Friday evening as they defeated the visiting Franklin-Simpson Lady Wildcats 3-2 at the Cougar Softball Field.
Grayson County scored once in the first inning then twice more in the third inning, then held on for the win.
Freshman Kara Decker went the distance for the Lady Cougars to earn the victory. Decker allowed just two runs on five hits, struck out two and walked two. The Lady Wildcats had the tying run at third base with just one out in the seventh inning, but Decker retired the next two batters to wrap up the win.
The Lady Wildcats scored first with a single run in the first inning. Leadoff third-baseman Katie McElroy lined Decker’s first pitch to right field for a single. Shortstop Morgan Moyers sacrificed McElroy to second, then Moyers advanced to third on a passed ball by Cougar catcher Haley Tucker.
Catcher Emmi Thurmond followed with a fly ball to right-fielder Alana Mudd that was deep enough to drive in McElroy to make it a 1-0 game. Decker ended the inning by getting Alannah Fuller to ground out to Kaylan Shull at short.
The Cougars got that run right back in the bottom of the first. With one out, Decker drove a ball to the fence in left field for a double and was replaced on the bases by Haley Brooks.
A wild pitch moved Brooks to third before Shull drew a walk to put runners at the corners. The Cougars then tried the walking steal, with Shull walking toward second as Brooks danced down the line at third. Wildcat pitcher Shelby Franklin did what she was supposed to do, walking toward Shull to make her commit, but Franklin’s throw to second was high and went into center field. Brooks scored and Shull made it to third on the error.
Later, the Cougars had runners at second and third with just one out, but Franklin struck out Corbin Klineline and got Mudd to fly out to end the inning.
Grayson County took a 3-1 lead with two runs in the third inning. Decker led off the inning with her second hit, a single up the middle, and was replaced again by Brooks. Shull followed with a ground ball to McElroy at third. McElroy fielded the ball cleanly, but her throw was high at first.
Brooks was able to score on the play, and Shull wound up at third. Ashley Milliner lined out to first for the first out of the inning, but Klineline laid down a perfect bunt to drive in Shull with the second run of the inning. Klineline was thrown out trying to steal second before Franklin got Mudd to pop out to end the inning.
The Wildcats answered back with a run in the top of the fifth. Franklin dumped a little hump-backed liner into right for a base-hit, then stole second base. She was sacrificed to third by Shauntel Mincy, then scored on a single to left by Stormie Garner to make it 3-2. Decker got out of the inning by inducing Caitlin Crawford to pop out, then getting Carra Scott on a come-backer.
Those last two outs were the start of eight straight retired batters for Decker before Garner led off the top of the seventh with a double into the left-field corner to put the tying run at second with no one out.
Crawford sacrificed Garner to third base, but Decker got Scott to pop out to Grace White at second base for the second out of the inning.
The Wildcats nearly got the hit they needed to tie things up when McElroy scorched a low liner back up the middle, but Decker got a glove on the ball and knocked it down. She then was able to pick it up and get the final out of the game at first.
Following this game, the Cougar softball team headed down to Fort Walton Beach, in Florida, to take part in the Florida Beach Bash. They played two games on Sunday, beating Kentucky’s Washington County 14-3 and Valley View, from Ohio, 11-0. On Monday, they defeated Kentucky’s Lawrence County by a score of 3-2 to move their record to 9-3 on the season..
The Cougars still have two games to play in Florida. They will take on the North Hardin Trojans on Wednesday, then will complete their trip with a Thursday game against North Bullitt.