Lady Bulldogs struggle at Shelbyville play day

Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Cornersville third baseman Makayla Campbell throws out Lincoln County's Traci Shelton at first base in the top of the first inning. Photos by Louis G. Scheuchenzuber

The Cornersville Lady Bulldogs had a tough afternoon in their final preseason tune up for the 2012 softball campaign, as they lost all three contests at the Shelbyville Play Day on Saturday at Musgrave Park.

Playing without sophomore hurler Taylor Wolaver, who is currently sidelined with an injured shoulder and is expected to be Cornersville's top pitcher this season, the Lady Bulldogs were forced to use freshman Ashley Umbles and eighth grader Briley Bean in the circle against a trio of Class AAA opponents in Warren County, Lincoln County, and Franklin County.

With their young pitching staff receiving a trial by fire, Cornersville also struggled at the plate and in the field, as they mustered only eight hits and committed eight errors in the three contests while being outscored 28-1 overall.

After suffering a 11-0 loss to Warren County in their opening game, the Lady Bulldogs were defeated 6-1 by District 8-AAA preseason favorite Lincoln County before dropping a 11-0 decision to Franklin County in their nightcap.

"We understand that this isn't a sprint, but a marathon. We're looking to improve every game and I think we improved today by facing these teams," said CHS coach Eric Crabtree. "We were throwing a freshman that hasn't pitched in two years and an eighth grader so right now teams are going to hit us. I thought Ashley and Briley pitched admirably today. Not having Taylor also hurts us offensively because she is one of our better hitters.

The Lady Bulldogs were swimming upstream from the start against Warren County and trailed 5-0 through their first three innings of play.

Cornersville managed to hold Warren County scoreless in the fourth, but the Lady Pioneers exploded for six runs in the top of the fifth to forge an 11-0 lead before the game was called due to time constraints.

Warren County banged out 12 hits overall, while the Lady Pioneer starting pitcher Gabi Keith limited CHS to just one hit in four innings of work. Freshman right fielder Kelsey Wortham singled in the second inning to account for the Lady Bulldogs lone hit of the contest.

In their second game, Cornersville once again fell behind early, as Lincoln County crossed home plate three times in the top of the first inning prior to pushing across a run in the second to open up a 4-0 advantage.

Cornersville's Brittney Crowell sprints to first base after laying down a bunt in the bottom of the first inning against Lincoln County.

The Lady Falcons tacked on two more runs in the fourth to make it 6-0, before CHS got on the board in the bottom half of the frame when Makenzie Hopkins scored on a Lincoln County throwing error after singling and advancing all the way to third on a Makayla Campbell sacrifice bunt for the 6-1 final.

Cornersville finished with only three hits against hard throwing sophomore hurler Lauren Hunter, while the Lady Falcons tallied six hits.

Brittney Crowell, Hopkins, and Campbell each singled to lead the Lady Bulldogs at the plate.

The Lady Bulldogs got off to another rough start in their final game against Franklin County, as the Lady Rebels plated a run in the bottom of the first inning to take a 1-0 lead before erupting for seven runs in the second to open up an 8-0 cushion.

Franklin County then tacked on three more runs in the third to cruise to the 11-0 victory in five innings.

Aided by their second inning onslaught, the Lady Rebels outhit Cornersville 9-4 overall. Crowell, Hopkins, Campbell, and Wortham each had one hit to pace the Lady Bulldogs offensively.