By DOUG EADS, CJ Correspondent
When’s the perfect time to snap a modest two game losing skid?
How about getting a win over your arch-rival at their place in the district opener for both clubs.
That’s exactly the formula David Dorsey and the Somerset Lady Jumpers came up with on Tuesday afternoon.
Facing a Pulaski County team that brought a three-game losing streak into the contest, Somerset found itself down early, but exploded late to come up with a huge victory.
Trailing the Lady Maroons 1-0 through four innings of play, Dorsey’s club exploded for seven runs over the final three innings, led by a pair of doubles and five RBI from Bethany Edwards, as Somerset rallied for a 7-4 win over Pulaski County.
“The first game in the district is obviously a big game for both teams,” stated Dorsey, after the Lady Jumpers moved to 1-0 in district play and to 7-5 overall on the season.
“I thought Lauren (Rice) threw the ball really well early on, and I felt like she got stronger as the game went along,” Dorsey added.
Indeed, Rice and Pulaski County’s Alexis Madden were hooked up in a great pitcher’s duel early on, with runs seemingly coming at a premium for both clubs.
PC finally broke through for a lone run in the home half of the third inning, when Bethany Edwards wasn’t able to come up with a fly ball to deep center field off the bat of Sarah Howard, dropping it for an error on a valiant effort.
Another Lady Jumper error on Jordan Lafavers allowed PC to score the first run of the night, and the Lady Maroons took that 1-0 lead over Somerset into the fifth inning.
That however is when Edwards and her Somerset teammates got going at the plate breaking this one open.
The SHS senior doubled in a pair of runs in the top of the fifth inning, and her bases-clearing double in the top of the sixth drove in three more runs.
Thanks to those five RBI from Edwards, Somerset enjoyed a 6-1 lead through six innings of play, giving Rice and the Lady Jumpers a comfortable cushion to work with.
And, Somerset was able to build that lead due to a couple of costly PC errors that gave Edwards and her teammates the chance to drive in runners over those late innings.
“You just can’t give a team that is as good as Somerset 26 or 27 outs and expect to beat them,” lamented first-year PC head coach Kevin McKee.
“You just can’t give a good team extra outs, because if you do they’re going to come back and bite you,” continued the Lady Maroons coach. “Somerset is a very good team and they’re probably the best team in the district. Lauren Rice is an excellent pitcher, and we couldn’t get the bat on the ball off of her solid until that last inning.”
Thanks to the two big hits off the bat of Edwards in the fifth and sixth innings, Somerset took a 6-1 lead into the final inning, tacking on one more run in the seventh, for a commanding 7-1 lead.
However, PC would not go down without a fight.
The Lady Maroons took advantage of some control problems from Rice in the bottom of the seventh inning, making things interesting for a moment at least.
MaKala Bryant worked Rice for a one-out walk in the home half of the seventh, and leadoff hitter Jessica Foster followed her with a walk from Rice.
Later in the frame, Sarah Howard doubled in two runs, cutting the deficit to 7-3, and after McKayla Blevins reached base safely on an error by Katherine Holmes who dropped her fly ball in right field, the Lady Maroons had trimmed the lead down to 7-4.
However, Rice would retire Taylor Brock on a groundout to the mound to end the game, ending Somerset’s two-game losing slide and propelling the Lady Jumpers to a 1-0 start in district play.
Both teams will return to action tomorrow with a pair of critical 47th District games.
PC — now 5-5-1 on the season and 0-1 in district play — will travel to Rockcastle County to face the Lady Rockets on Thursday afternoon, while Somerset will return home to face Casey County.
Thanks to the Lady Rebels 6-1 victory over Rockcastle County last night, first place inside the 47th District will be on the line when the Lady Rebels face Somerset tomorrow afternoon.
SHS — 0 0 0 0 2 4 1 — 7 9 3
PC — 0 0 1 0 0 0 3 — 4 6 3
DOUBLES — (SHS) Edwards 2, Rice. (PC) Evans, Howard.
RBI — (SHS) Edwards 5, Richardson. (PC) Howard 2.
WP — Rice
LP — Madden