Lady Bulldogs blast Santa Fe

Wednesday, April 4, 2012
Cornersville shortstop Makenzie Hopkins tags out Santa Fe's Jennifer Shouse on a stolen base attempt in the top of the fifth inning. Tribune photos by Louis G. Scheuchenzuber

After dropping a 10-5 decision to first place Richland last Thursday, the Cornersville Lady Bulldogs moved back to the .500 mark in District 11-A play by thrashing the Santa Fe Lady Wildcats 11-1 at home on Monday night in five innings.

Aided by a six-run first inning, the Lady Bulldogs (4-4, 2-2 District) pounded out 11 hits and drew three walks against Santa Fe starting pitcher Baylee Hemphill and reliever Bailey Staggs to go along with three Lady Wildcat errors.

Breanne Dunkleman led Cornersville's offensive attack by going 2-for-2 with a walk, 3 RBI, and two runs scored, while Kaitlyn Rogers added a pair of singles and scored two runs. Makayla Campbell (1 RBI), Brittney Crowell, Makenzie Hopkins (1 RBI), starting hurler Taylor Wolaver (2 RBI), MandiLynn Calahan, Ashley Beard, and Kelsey Wortham (2 RBI) each tallied one hit for CHS as well.

Cornersville's Brittney Crowell slides safely into third while stealing a base in the bottom of the first inning against Santa Fe.

Wolaver also went the distance in the circle and turned in a solid pitching performance to run her record to 4-0 on the season, as she racked up nine strikeouts over five innings while allowing one run on two hits and a walk.

"I was really pleased with the team today. We were patient in the batter's box and made big plays when we had too. Taylor also pitched well so it was an all around good performance," said Cornersville coach Eric Crabtree. "Each game we've gotten a little bit better. This is a tournament sport so hopefully we'll be playing our best when the postseason rolls around."

Santa Fe actually took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning when Hemphill scored on a RBI single by Randi McElhaney after singling and stealing second.

The Lady Wildcats' lead would prove to be short lived, as CHS crossed home plate six times in the bottom half of the first inning to pull ahead 6-1.

After Crowell singled with one out and Hopkins drew a walk, Crowell stole third before Hopkins swiped second on the next pitch. Wolaver then plated both runners by lacing a single into centerfield to make it 2-1 prior to advancing to second on a bloop single by Rogers. Courtesy runner Amala Elder and Rogers then both moved up 60 feet on a Calahan sacrifice bunt before coming home on a two-run single by Dunkleman to give the Lady Bulldogs a 4-1 advantage. Following a single by Beard, Dunkleman and Beard both advanced a base thanks to a wild pitch prior to scoring on a Wortham two-run single.

Cornersville then stretched their lead to 7-1 in the second when Hopkins raced home on a passed ball after singling, stealing second, and advancing to third on a Wolaver groundout.

In the third, CHS plated another run on the strength of a leadoff single by Calahan, a Dunkleman walk, and a RBI bloop single by Campbell to open up an 8-1 advantage.

The Lady Bulldogs pushed across two runs in the fourth with the help of a Rogers single, two Santa Fe errors, and a RBI infield single by Dunkleman to stretch their lead to 10-1.

Cornersville then brought the mercy rule into effect in the fifth when Campbell scored on a Hopkins sacrifice bunt to cap CHS' 11-1 victory after drawing a leadoff walk and advancing to third on a wild pitch and a sacrifice bunt by Crowell.