Columbia Central clips Lady Bulldogs

Wednesday, March 26, 2014
Cornersville starting hurler Mary Taylor Hickman delivers a pitch to home plate in the bottom of the first inning against Columbia. Tribune photo by Louis G. Scheuchenzuber

The Cornersville Lady Bulldogs (2-2) had trouble getting out of their own way on Monday night, as they made a litany of mistakes en route to suffering a 7-6 road loss to the Columbia Central Lady Lions.

Columbia (4-5) built a 5-1 lead through the first three innings of play before the Lady Bulldogs sliced the deficit to 5-4 in the top of the fifth.

After tacking on a couple of insurance runs in the bottom of the fifth to open up a 7-4 advantage, the Lady Lions had to stave off a Cornersville rally in the top of the seventh to hang on for the win.

Errors hurt

Hindered by six Lady Bulldogs errors, Cornersville starting pitcher Mary Taylor Hickman suffered the loss in the circle after yielding seven runs, only two earned, in six innings of work on six hits and a walk while recording eight strikeouts.

Kaity Dickinson led Columbia's offensive attack by going 2-for-4 with a double and a run scored. Tamiyah Kinzer (1 RBI), Dareain Baker (1 RBI), Courtney Young (1 RBI), and Alexis Lovett tallied one hit apiece for the Lady Lions as well.

Although Columbia's pitching staff hit seven batters and issued six walks, Cornersville finished with a modest eight hits while leaving 11 runners on base. The Lady Lions also backed their pitchers with solid defense, as they committed no errors in the contest and threw out three Lady Bulldog runners on the base paths.

Top hitters

Hickman (2 RBI), right fielder Kelsey Wortham, and Samantha Prosser each notched two hits to pace Cornersville at the plate, while Madison Hopkins (2 RBI) and Briley Bean (1 RBI) each had one hit.

Lady Lion reliever Takoya Lyles picked up the victory in the circle and yielded five runs over five and a third innings on eight hits and five walks. Columbia starting pitcher Summer Reese had to settle for the no decision and gave up one run in an inning and two-thirds on one walk and seven hit batsman.

The Lady Lions jumped out to an early 2-0 lead by pushing across two runs in the bottom of the first inning. After Kendrica Pillow drew a leadoff walk, the Lady Bulldogs misplayed a fly ball by Kinzer, which allowed Pillow and Kinzer to both score on the play.

Cornersville trimmed the deficit to 2-1 in the top of the third when Reese hit four straight Lady Bulldog batters to force in a run, but Columbia crossed home plate three times in the top of the third with the help of an error and a pair of RBI doubles from Kinzer and Baker to open up a 5-1 advantage.

Catching up

The Lady Bulldogs then closed the gap to 5-3 in the top of the fourth thanks to a two-run triple by Hopkins before plating a run in the fifth inning on a Hickman RBI single to cut the deficit to 5-4.

Cornersville's defense would let them down again in the bottom of the fifth, as the Lady Lions tallied two runs in the frame on the strength of a hit batsman, two errors, and a Young RBI single to stretch their lead to 7-4.

The Lady Bulldogs tried to mount a comeback in the top of the seventh and loaded the bases with no outs on a Carson Coble walk and a pair of singles by Bean and Prosser. Hickman then drove in Coble with a RBI single, but Bean was thrown out at home plate on the play. After Prosser scored on a RBI fielder's choice by Courtney Darnell to close the gap to 7-6, Pillow made a nice running catch in centerfield on a deep fly ball by Wortham to end the game.