Lady Bulldogs smash Santa Fe after early-inning scare

Friday, March 15, 2013
Cornersville third base coach Mike "Gumby" Wortham congratulates Kaitlyn Rogers after Rogers hit a solo home run in the bottom of the third inning against Santa Fe. Tribune photos by Louis G. Scheuchenzuber

After watching their middle school counterparts rout Bridgeforth earlier in the afternoon, the Cornersville Lady Bulldogs recorded a blowout victory of their own on Tuesday night when they crushed District 11-A foe Santa Fe 17-2 in four innings at home in their season opener.

The Lady Wildcats actually held a 2-1 lead at the end of the first inning, but things would quickly go downhill for Santa Fe after that point, as the Lady Bulldogs scored 16 runs over the next three innings to cruise to the mercy rule shortened victory.

Aided by an 11-run third inning, CHS finished with 11 hits and 10 walks against two Lady Wildcat pitchers to go along with three Santa Fe errors.

At the plate

Kaitlyn Rogers and Makayla Campbell both tallied two hits and 3 RBI to lead Cornersville's offensive attack with Rogers belting the first homerun of her CHS career. MandiLynn Calahan and Briley Bean also notched two hits apiece and drove in two and one run respectively, while Ashley Beard belted a homer and had 3 RBI. Starting pitcher Taylor Wolaver (2 RBI) and Carson Coble (1 RBI) each doubled for the Lady Bulldogs as well.

"I wasn't worried when they jumped out on us early because I had confidence in our bats. We've been working hard on keeping our weight back and pulling our hands through," said Cornersville coach Eric Crabtree. "If you focus on hitting line drives, the homeruns will come. I'm just glad we hit the ball hard tonight."

Cornersville starting pitcher Taylor Wolaver tallied nine strikeouts over four innings in the Lady Bulldogs' 17-2 win over Santa Fe.

Wolaver went the distance in the circle to pick up the win and racked up nine strikeouts in four innings of work while allowing two unearned runs on five hits.

Morgan Anderson recorded two hits to pace the Lady Wildcats at the plate, while Mary Troy, Jennifer Shouse, Maddy Thornburg each had one hit. Santa Fe starting pitcher Bailey Staggs suffered the loss, yielding 14 runs on 11 hits and seven walks over three and a third innings.

Close early

The Lady Wildcats got off to a promising start and pushed across two runs in the top of the first inning with the help of a CHS error, an Anderson single, two passed balls, and a Randi McElhaney RBI groundout to take a 2-0 lead.

Cornersville then trimmed the deficit to 2-1 in the bottom of the first when Calahan raced home on a passed ball after singling and advancing to third on a Campbell single and a walk by Coble.

Wolaver then escaped a bases loaded jam in the top of the second before the Lady Bulldogs pushed across four runs in the bottom half of the inning to seize a 5-2 lead. After drawing a one-out walk and moving to second on a Miranda Cooksey sacrifice bunt, Wortham advanced to third on a Santa Fe error while Calahan reached first base. Campbell then plated a Wortham and Calahan with a two-run double to give Cornersville a 3-2 advantage before Beard blasted a two-run shot over the left centerfield fence.

Run explosion

In the bottom of the third, CHS blew the game wide open by crossing home plate 11 times in the frame on the strength of a solo homer by Rogers, bases loaded walks by Calahan, Campbell, Beard, and Coble, a Wolaver two-run double, a two-run triple by Rogers, two Santa Fe errors, and a Calahan RBI single to forge a 16-2 lead.

The Lady Bulldogs then brought the mercy rule into effect in the bottom of the fourth when Coble scored on a RBI single by Bean after doubling and advancing to third on a passed ball to cap Cornersville's 17-2 triumph.