After a strong outing in their season opener on Tuesday at Whitley County in an 11-3 win over the Lady Colonels, the Somerset Lady Jumpers came home on Wednesday and ran into a buzz saw called North Laurel.
The Lady Jaguars — a perennial softball power in Kentucky and ranked in the top 10 heading into this season — rolled into Somerset Wednesday afternoon, and after a slow start, dumped the Lady Jumpers by a final count of 10-5.
North Laurel’s Megan Baldwin went the distance for Becky Osborne’s club — throwing seven innings, allowing Somerset just seven hits to go along with six strikeouts and eight walks.
On a day when Somerset stranded 10 runners and was guilty of four costly errors, David Dorsey and crew just didn’t have enough in the tank to rally against the always tough, Lady Jags.
And, it started in the home half of the first inning.
Baldwin struggled with her control from the outset, walking three of the first four hitters she faced, but the Lady Jumpers couldn’t take advantage of her wildness.
Somerset did manage a single run, thanks to an infield hit off the bat of Lauren Hibbard, but that would be all the damage the Lady Jumpers would be able to do off of Baldwin.
“That’s been our Achilles heel for most of last year and now our first two games this year,” lamented Dorsey after his club fell to 1-1 on the young season.
“We left nine runners on base last night, and now we left 10 today against North,” added the SHS coach. “Out of the 21 outs today, we had 12 popups and seven strikeouts — 19 of the 21 outs — which did not make them play defense at all.”
Meanwhile, while Baldwin was struggling with her control with eight walks on the afternoon, Somerset’s Lauren Rice was holding the Lady Jags at bay — until the fourth inning.
In the top of the fourth, the Lady Jags finally got through on Rice and Somerset, stringing together four consecutive hits.
Baldwin helped her own cause by leading off the frame with a double, and she would later come home on an RBI single off the bat of Emily Sears.
The big hit came from Farris Strong, who singled in two more runs giving the Lady Jags a 4-1 advantage through three and a half innings.
After Somerset tacked on another run in the bottom of the fifth to trim the deficit to 4-2 thanks to another run-scoring single off the bat of Hibbard, the Lady Jags iced this one away by scoring five runs in a decisive top of the sixth.
And, it was two costly errors by Somerset that allowed the flood gates to open.
“The second game of the season playing a top ten team in the state like North Laurel is a challenge for us,” pointed out Dorsey.
“I don’t like to lose and I don’t believe in moral victories,” stated the Lady Jumper coach. “We’ll come back out at practice tomorrow, go play at Corbin on Friday and then go play in the All A on Saturday at Danville.”
Leading Somerset 4-2, the Lady Jags blew this one open with a five-spot in the sixth inning.
The big hit in that frame came from Blake Johnson, who blasted a pitch from Rice to deep center field for a three-run shot.
The Lady Jags tacked on one more run in the top of the seventh, before Somerset’s Chloe Henderson took a Baldwin pitch over the fence in left center for a three-run bomb of her own, making the final score 10-5 in favor of the Lady Jags.
Somerset began the season on a positive note on Tuesday afternoon, picking up an impressive 11-3 victory on the road at Whitley County.
Rice and Hibbard led the way offensively for the Lady Jumpers, as they each had two singles and a double.
Meanwhile — on a day that saw Somerset bang out 19 hits — Henderson, Bethany Edwards, Katherine Holmes, Amanda Haynes, Shyla Daniel, and Alyssa Richardson all had two hits each in the win.
Rice picked up the win on the mound for Somerset, allowing just three runs to Whitley County while fanning eight hitters.
Somerset will return to action today on the road at Corbin, before facing Danville on the Lady Admirals home field tomorrow at 3 p.m. in the first round of the 12th Regional All A Classic.
NL — 0 0 0 4 0 5 1 — 10 13 2
SHS — 1 0 0 0 1 0 3 — 5 7 4
DOUBLES — (NL) Baldwin.
HOMERUNS — (NL) Johnson. (SHS) Henderson.
RBI — (NL) Johnson 3, Yantz 2, Strong 2, Sears, Mills. (SHS) Henderson 3, Hibbard 2.
WP — Baldwin
LP — Rice