By MICHAEL CHILDERS, CJ Correspondent
Heading into the bottom of the sixth inning of last night’s contest with Pulaski County, Southwestern had managed to get only one hit.
That would all change in the sixth frame, as the homestanding Lady Warriors tallied one run on three hits to grab a 1-0 lead over the cross-town rival Lady Maroons of Pulaski County.
That one run, which came on an RBI single from junior Sarah Smith, would be good enough for the win, as Jim Woodall’s Lady Warriors snuck away with a 1-0 victory over Pulaski last night at the War Path.
After junior Sydney ‘Dozer’ Fourman reached on a double and avoided getting out on a line drive, Smith - with two outs on the board - singled up the middle, which allowed Fourman to score the Lady Warriors’ first and only run of the ballgame.
Woodall, who is back coaching Southwestern in 2013, was glad to see his team get a clutch hit after a slew of games without a solid hitting performance at the plate.
“I told the girls before the game that we were in for a war,” began Woodall. “Sarah Smith came through with that huge hit with Dozer on third base. We’ve not been hitting the ball well in our last four or five games. Tonight was a good example of it only takes one good, timely hit to win a game.”
Kevin McKee’s Lady Maroons looked as if the would they would strike first in the top half of sixth inning. With two outs, Pulaski freshman Emily Evans blasted a triple to right field, but would later be thrown out at the plate by Lady Warrior sophomore Angel Beasley.
Unfortunately for the Lady Maroons, Southwestern would score the game-winning run in the bottom half of the inning on Smith’s RBI single. With the win, the Lady Warriors bounced back from a 1-0 loss of their own, as they lost to McCreary Central on Tuesday evening in Stearns.
Both clubs combined for five hits on the night, as the Lady Warriors had four and Pulaski had one. Smith, Fourman, Beasley, and Allie Venable had hits for Southwestern, while Evans’ triple was the lone hit for the Lady Maroons.
Last night’s cross-town match-up was a pitcher’s duel between Fourman and Pulaski senior Sarah Howard, to say the least. Fourman, who earned the victory, gave up a lone hit and had four strikeouts. Howard, meanwhile, gave up one run on four hits and had eight strikeouts.
“Sarah pitched a good enough game to win,” praised McKee. “I get really tired of losing 1-0 or 2-1 games, but that just shows that our team is improving. I’m proud of the girls because of how hard they fought to the end.”
Woodall credited the Lady Maroons on a hard-fought performance and the coaching of McKee, who is in his first season at the helm of the Pulaski softball program.
“Kevin has done one heck of a job over there at Pulaski this year,” Woodall said. “When he took the job, the cupboard was pretty bare over there. He pretty much had to start from scratch. Sarah Howard pitched an awesome game tonight.”
Another key play in the game occurred in the bottom of the third inning. Southwestern freshman Gillian Gibson - off a hit from Venable - looked as if she would put the Lady Warriors on the board for the inaugural time of the night. However, senior center fielder Mckayla Bryant threw a ball to fellow senior catcher McKala Blevins, who made the tag on Gibson for the out.
As usual, it was another instant classic between the two local softball teams.
“For the fans, that was an exciting game to watch,” McKee stated. “It’s a friendly rivalry, and that’s what it’s all about. All the girls and coaches are friends with one another, so it’s fun game to be apart of.”
The Lady Maroons, now 12-11 on the year, are scheduled to return to action today, hosting Bardstown at noon at PC Field. Southwestern, who upped their overall record to 18-6, will travel to Casey County on Monday night for a doubleheader with the Lady Rebels.
PC - 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 - 0 1 2
SW - 0 0 0 0 0 1 X - 1 4 2
W - Fourman (SW)
L - Howard (PC)
2B - Fourman (SW)
3B - Evans (PC)
RBI - Smith (SW)