By DOUG EADS, CJ Correspondent
It’s been a rough few days for first-year head coach Brad Gover and the Pulaski County Lady Maroon softball team.
Player defections, resignations from the coaching staff — you name it — Gover and the Pulaski County softball program has had more than its fair share of adversity over the past week.
However on Tuesday afternoon at arch-rival Somerset, none of that really mattered at all.
All that mattered was a district opener for both teams, and PC came out and played its heart out.
Gover — with only 10 players in uniform — saw his youngsters play their hearts out against Somerset, but that wouldn’t be enough to hold back David Dorsey and the red-hot Lady Jumpers.
Somerset got another brilliant outing from pitcher Jordan Lafavers, while Raegan Henderson and Brynlee Bigelow each came up with timely RBI extra hits, leading the Lady Jumpers to a 4-0 shutout victory over PC.
“We did get a couple of timely hits today, and of course the home run in the fifth inning was a big blast helping us pick up a huge run at that time,” stated Dorsey, after his team moved to 9-2 on the season with the victory.
“I think we pressed a little bit tonight at the plate — we had five players to strike out and nine pop ups,” continued the Somerset coach. “Tonight’s a game, with all the problems they have had of late, they came in here with nothing to lose.”
Early on, Lafavers and Pulaski County’s Krystin Wilson were hooked up in a pretty good pitcher’s duel, with neither team able to muster any offense whatsoever.
That all changed however in the bottom of the third inning when the Lady Jumpers took a 1-0 lead in the contest.
With two out, Chloe Henderson singled off of Wilson, and Raegan Henderson followed her with an RBI double, giving the Lady Jumpers that early one-run lead.
In the top of the fourth frame, Pulaski County rallied by posing its one big threat of the night.
After Lafavers retired the first two hitters she faced in the inning, Eulah Perkins singled — one of two hits on the night for the Lady Maroon center fielder — and Lindsey Anderson followed her by getting hit by a pitch from Lafavers.
McKenzie McCollum then worked Lafavers for her only walk of the contest, loading the bases with those two out.
Lafavers however — in her only jam of the contest — got off the hook by retiring Makayla Montgomery on a groundout to end the threat keeping Pulaski County off the scoreboard.
“We’ve got some girls out here that have just started and I commend them for that,” stated coach Gover after the game.
“They have been absolutely wonderful,” Gover continued. “They have kept our program going, and they are playing with the best of attitudes, and they’re just going out there and having a lot of fun. I think that once we come together, play a few games and start believing in each other, we’re not going to be that bad.”
Leading PC by that 1-0 advantage, Somerset doubled its lead in the home half of the fifth, when leadoff hitter Brynlee Bigelow took a Wilson pitch deep over the fence in left center field, giving the Lady Jumpers a 2-0 lead.
Somerset then closed out its scoring by plating a pair of runs in the sixth inning, scoring one run on an RBI single from Bigelow, while scoring the other on the back end of a double steal.
Dorsey — who saw his team become the first team in the 12th Region to pick up a ninth win on the year — stated he was impressed with the play and fight he saw in the Pulaski County team despite all the turmoil and problems that have been associated with the program over the past few days.
“They’ve (Pulaski County) I guess got a ton of problems over there,” stated the Somerset coach.
“I’ve always been taught that when you’re coaching or working with kids, the decisions you make, you put the kids first and foremost,” added Dorsey. “Was that done? I’m not sure — it’s hard to tell. This game was kind of like match-play golf — win the hole and go play the next one.”
Lafavers picked up the win for Somerset, surrendering five hits to the Lady Maroons, while recording six strikeouts and walking only one hitter.
Wilson meanwhile threw the ball well for PC in defeat, giving up only six hits to the Lady Jumpers, with five strikeouts and three walks.
Gover admits that it’s certainly been a hard patch that he and his team have had to overcome over the past few days, but he likes the makeup of the club he has now, and the one that took the field on Tuesday afternoon against Somerset.
“It has been a tough week — I’ve been pretty hurt,” stated an emotional Gover. “But, for the kids that have stayed with me, words just can’t express how I feel about them. I’d lay down for them right now — I do anything for these girls.”
Both teams will be back in action today playing 47th District games.
Somerset will be on the road at Casey County, while the Lady Maroons — 7-5 on the season — will return home today to take on Rockcastle County at 5:30 p.m.
PC — 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 — 0 5 4
SHS — 0 0 1 0 1 2 X — 4 6 0
DOUBLES — (PC) Smith. (SHS) R. Henderson.
HOME RUNS — (SHS) Bigelow
RBI — (SHS) Bigelow 2, R. Henderson.
WP — Lafavers
LP — Wilson