Lady Bulldogs pummel Culleoka

Wednesday, May 2, 2012
Cornersville's Brittney Crowell slides safely into home plate while scoring on a bunt by Breanne Dunkleman in the top of the second inning. Photos by Louis G. Scheuchenzuber

Coming off a 13-1 victory over Mt. Pleasant two days earlier, the Cornersville Lady Bulldogs picked up an important District 11-A win on Thursday night when they crushed second place Culleoka 13-3 on the road in six innings.

Thanks to Thursday's triumph, Cornersville finished in a three-way tie for second place in the District standings with Culleoka and Columbia Academy and will be the third seed in the conference tournament.

Bolstered by an eight-run second inning, the Lady Bulldogs (8-9, 6-4 District) pounded out 13 hits against two Lady Warrior pitchers to go along with two walks and a Culleoka error.

Kaitlyn Rogers tallied three hits, 1 RBI, and a run scored to lead Cornersville at the plate, while Makenzie Hopkins went 2-for-4 with a homerun, 4 RBI, and two runs scored. Starting hurler Taylor Wolaver, MandiLynn Calahan and Brittney Crowell each notched two hits as well with Wolaver and Calahan driving in three and two runs respectively. Makayla Campbell (1 RBI) and Ashley Beard also had one hit apiece for the Lady Bulldogs.

Wolaver, meanwhile, turned in a solid pitching performance to earn the victory in the circle, as she allowed three runs, only one earned, on just three hits and no walks to go along with two strikeouts.

"We came out loose and on a mission to win. If you hit the ball like that, you're going to win some games," said Cornersville coach Eric Crabtree. "We have started to peak at the right time. I hope we keep it going and carry it into the District tournament because I think we can surprise a few people. We're not the same team we were two weeks ago."

Justice Stewart, Bethany McGuire, and Kacy Anderson each had one hit for Culleoka with Anderson driving in two runs. Lady Warrior starting pitcher Mariah Delk suffered the loss, yielding eight runs on six hits in only two innings of work.

The Lady Bulldogs failed to reach base in the top of the first inning, but blew the game open in the second by erupting for eight runs in the frame to seize an 8-0 lead.

After Cornersville loaded the bases with one out on consecutive singles by Rogers, Crowell, and Beard, Kelsey Wortham and Breanne Dunkleman drove in Rogers and Crowell respectively with RBI fielder's choices to make it 2-0 while Culleoka was unable to record an out on either play. Campbell then plated Beard with a sacrifice fly, before Wortham and Dunkleman both scored on a two-run bloop double by Calahan to give the Lady Bulldogs a 5-0 advantage. Following a RBI single by Wolaver, Hopkins blasted a two-run homer over the left centerfield fence to cap the scoring in the frame.

Culleoka trimmed the deficit to 8-2 in the bottom of the second on the strength of a two-run double by Anderson before notching another run in the fourth inning with the help of a Stewart single and a Cornersville error to narrow the gap to 8-3.

Cornersville third baseman Makayla Campbell throws out Culleoka's Lindzi Pipkin at first base in the bottom of the sixth inning.

The Lady Bulldogs, though, delivered the knockout blow in the top of the sixth, as they crossed home plate five times in the frame on the strength of two walks, a Campbell single, a two-run double by Wolaver, a Hopkins two-run single, and a RBI double by Rogers to forge a 13-3 lead.

Wolaver then sat down the Lady Warriors in order in the bottom of the sixth to keep the mercy rule in effect.