Lady Bulldogs go undefeated at Columbia Play Day

Wednesday, March 5, 2014
Tribune photos by Louis G. Scheuchenzuber Cornersville starting hurler Mary Taylor Hickman fires a pitch to home plate in the bottom of the first inning against Lincoln County.

It appears that pitching will be a strong suit for the Cornersville Lady Bulldogs softball team this season, as CHS yielded a total of just three runs in four games on Saturday en route to posting a 3-0-1 record at the Lady Lion Play Day in Columbia.

The Lady Bulldogs opened the day by defeating the Zion Christian Lady Eagles 1-0 before beating the Lincoln County Lady Falcons 4-1. After battling the Creek Wood Lady Red Hawks to a 2-2 tie, Cornersville ended the day by whipping the Culleoka Lady Warriors 7-0.

"All in all I was proud of the way that we played. I think we're going to be a fundamental, gritty little team this year," said CHS coach Eric Crabtree. "This is definitely a confidence booster and beating a historically good team like Lincoln County is only going to help us."

CHS 1, Zion 0

In their opening game of the day, the Lady Bulldogs failed to record a hit through the first three innings of play, but managed to scratch out a run in the top of the fourth to take a 1-0 lead. Following a one-out single by starting pitcher Taylor Wolaver, courtesy runner Samantha Prosser stole second. Prosser then scored on a groundball by Carson Coble when Zion Christian made an errant throw to third base.

That proved to be all the run support that Wolaver would need, as she stranded a Lady Eagle runner at third in the bottom of the fourth before working around a one-out single by Sabrina Pruitt in the fifth inning to secure the win for CHS.

Cornersville pitcher Taylor Wolaver throws out a Creek Wood base runner at first base.

Wolaver's single accounted for Cornersville's lone hit of the contest, while centerfielder Miranda Cooksey drew two walks.

Zion Christian also struggled at the plate, as Wolaver recorded five strikeouts in five innings of work while limiting the Lady Eagles to just one hit and two walks.

CHS 4, Lincoln Co. 1

After edging Zion Christian, Cornersville stepped up in weight class in their second game when they faced Lincoln, which posted a 34-17 record last season and has won three of the last four District 8-AAA tournament titles.

The Lady Bulldogs, however, proved to be up to the challenge, as they pushed across two runs in the top of the second inning on the strength of a leadoff single by Coble, a Briley Bean RBI single, a single by starting pitcher Mary Taylor Hickman, and a Lady Falcon throwing error to grab a 2-0 lead.

Hickman then worked around a leadoff double by Lincoln County's Taylor Ferguson in the bottom of the second inning with the help of a 4-3-2 double play before Cornersville crossed home plate two more times in the top of the third thanks to a pair of walks and a two-run single by Kirsten Young to open up a 4-0 advantage.

The Lady Falcons tallied a run in the fourth inning on a walk, an error and a RBI groundout by Ferguson to trim the deficit to 4-1 before the game was called in the bottom of the fifth due to time constraints.

Hickman turned in a strong performance in the circle and limited Lincoln County to just one hit and one walk over four and one-third innings to go along with three strikeouts.

"With the addition of Mary Taylor, we'll be able to give Taylor Wolaver a rest and keep our pitchers fresh," said Crabtree.

CHS finished with eight hits and three walks against Lincoln County starting pitcher Kaitlyn Howe. Hickman led the Lady Bulldogs at the plate with two hits, while Young (2 RBI), Bean (1 RBI) Miranda Cooksey, Kelsey Wortham, Wolaver, and Coble each had one hit.

CHS 2, Creek Wood 2

Cornersville then faced another perennially strong program in their third game of the day when they took on Creek Wood.

The Lady Red Hawks grabbed a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning thanks to a leadoff triple by Kayla Jackson and a Montana Thomas sacrifice fly, but CHS countered with a run in the bottom half of the frame to tie the contest at 1-1. After loading the bases on a Wortham single, a double by Wolaver, and a Coble walk, Prosser legged out an infield single to drive in Wortham.

Cornersville catcher Carson Coble catches a foul pop-up in the top of the second inning against Creek Wood.

In the bottom of the second, Cornersville pulled ahead 2-1 when Hickman scored on a two-out RBI bloop single by Courtney Darnell after drawing a walk and advancing to second on a Jewel Anne Walls groundout.

Creek Wood then plated a run in the third inning with the help of a two-out RBI double by Jackson to knot the game at 2-2 before the game's time limit expired in the top of the fifth.

Wolaver went the distance in the circle for CHS and allowed five hits and two walks over four and a third innings while notching five strikeouts.

The Lady Bulldogs tallied five hits and two walks as well against Lady Red Hawk starting pitcher Libby Baldwin. Wortham went 2-for-2 with a run scored to lead CHS as the plate, while Prosser (1 RBI), Darnell (1 RBI), and Wolaver each had one hit.

CHS 7, Culleoka 0

Cornersville then wrapped up the day by thumping District 11-A foe Culleoka in their final game.

The Lady Bulldogs grabbed a 1-0 lead in the first inning on a RBI double by shortstop Madison Hopkins before pushing across three runs in the bottom of the second with the help of a double by Coble, a Prosser infield single, a Young walk, a RBI fielder's choice by Bean, a wild pitch, and a Darnell RBI groundout to open up a 4-0 advantage.

Cornersville second baseman Kirsten Young throws out a Culleoka base runner at first base.

Cornersville then crossed home plate three more times in the third inning on the strength of a two walks, a Prosser RBI double, a Lady Warrior error, a double by Bean, and a Darnell RBI single to stretch their lead to 7-0.

Culleoka nearly spoiled the Lady Bulldogs' shutout bid when Megan Polk tried to score from first on a one-out double by Whitney Duke, but Hopkins gunned down Polk at the plate to keep the Lady Warriors off the board.

Hickman picked up her second win of the day in the circle by limiting Culleoka to four hits in four innings of work while racking up nine strikeouts and issuing no walks.

The Lady Bulldogs, conversely, finished with eight hits and five walks against Lady Warrior starting pitcher Courtney Osborne. Prosser paced Cornersville's offensive attack with two hits and a run scored, while Darnell (2 RBI), Hopkins (1 RBI), Bean (1 RBI), Cooksey, Coble, and Hickman each had one hit.