By DOUG EADS, CJ Correspondent
It certainly wasn’t a thing of beauty, but as things turned out, it’s a win that Pulaski County head coach Kevin McKee will certainly take.
McKee and the Lady Maroons were guilty of two costly errors on Saturday morning playing in the Somerset Round Robin Tournament, but in the end, PC had enough to gut out a 3-2 victory in eight innings over McCreary Central.
“I’m proud that we got the ‘W’ — I mean that’s all the matters,” stated McKee, after his club improved to 7-5-1 on the season with the win.
“We got the win, but we’ve got to do a better job of taking care of the routine stuff,” added the PC coach. “Not taking care of the routine plays defensively is just killing us this year. Honestly, we should have won that game in regulation.”
Indeed, had PC been able to come up with those routine plays in the field, the Lady Maroons could have put this one away earlier, but it was not to be against a pesky McCreary Central club.
The Lady Raiders took a quick, 1-0 lead over PC and Alexis Madden in the bottom of the first inning, by scoring a lone run thanks to a Pulaski County error.
McCreary Central’s Megan Ross began the inning with a leadoff single, and she advanced to second base when center fielder MaKala Bryant couldn’t handle the ball cleanly.
Ross would eventually come home on an RBI sacrifice bunt from Brittany King, giving the Lady Raiders a 1-0 lead after just one inning of play.
PC however would come right back.
The Lady Maroons took a 2-1 lead in the second frame, scoring a pair of runs off of the Lady Raiders Kaylee Cotton.
An RBI double from Bryant brought home the first run, scoring Taryn Davis who began the frame with a single off of Cotton knotting things up at 1-1.
An RBI groundout from Jessica Foster put PC on top 2-1, and the score would remain that way until the bottom of the seventh.
After a PC error on a dropped routine fly ball, the Lady Raiders began their rally in their final at bat.
An Infield single by King paved the way for Kisha Gibson to play the role of hero, as her run-scoring single knotted things up at 2-2, sending the game into extra innings.
“To our kids credit, they didn’t hang their heads, but instead they executed in the extra inning and got us the win,” McKee stated.
In that decisive eighth inning, Pulaski scored what turned out to be the winning run on an error by McCreary Central, setting up Madden for the opportunity to nail down the victory for the Lady Maroons.
The PC lefty retired the side in order in the bottom of the eighth with three consecutive strikeouts by fanning Haley Jones, Megan Maxwell, and Kelsey Gilreath.
“Alexis didn’t start the game off real well, but she kept the ball in play and kept it on the ground,” pointed out coach McKee.
“They didn’t really sting the ball against her, but instead, a lot of their runners got on due to the fact that we just couldn’t catch the ball today,” continued the PC coach. “That last inning, I do believe she got stronger, and we told her she needed to get to work, and she did exactly that with those three straight strikeouts.”
Pulaski County will return to action tomorrow afternoon on the road at Washington County.
MC — 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 1 — 3 6 2
PC — 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 — 2 9 3
DOUBLES — (PC) Brock, Bryant.
RBI — (PC) Foster, Bryant. (MC) King, Gibson.
WP — Madden
LP — Cotton