Richland blasts Lady Bulldogs

Friday, April 4, 2014
Cornersville shortstop Madison Hopkins throws out Richland's Jade Norton at first base in the top of the first inning. Photos by Pap

The Cornersville Lady Bulldogs' showdown with defending Class A state champ Richland turned out to be a mismatch, as the Lady Raiders rolled to a 10-0 victory in five innings on Monday night at CHS.

Despite losing All-State shortstop Merri Anne Patterson to graduation, Richland (8-1, 4-1 District) showed that they still have plenty of thump in their lineup and pounded out 13 hits against Cornersville starting pitcher Taylor Wolaver to go along with one walk and one Lady Bulldog error.

Big stick

Starting hurler Ashton Edwards wielded the biggest stick for the Lady Raiders and went 3-for-3 with a walk, two doubles, a homerun, 2 RBI, and three runs scored. Ashton Henderson tallied three hits and 2 RBI for Richland as well, while Tabitha Scott (4 RBI) and Taylor Parker (2 RBI) notched two hits apiece with Parker belting a homerun.

Edwards also turned in a dominant performance in the circle, as she racked up 10 strikeouts in five scoreless innings of work while limiting CHS (4-4, 1-2 District) to just three hits and two walks en route to picking up the win.

"I think we might have been a little bit intimidated by them because they're the defending state champs," said Cornersville coach Eric Crabtree. "Edwards pitched a smart game and we were overaggressive in the box. The good thing is we get to play them two more times."

Mary Taylor Hickman, Carson Coble, and Kelsey Wortham each singled to account for all three Lady Bulldog hits.

Seizing the moment

The Lady Raiders seized the momentum early by pushing across two runs in the top of the first inning to take a 2-0 lead. Following a one-out double by Edwards, Henderson singled to put runners on first and third. Henderson then stole second before Scott smacked a two-run double to deep centerfield.

Cornersville right fielder Kelsey Wortham catches a fly ball by Richland's Taylor Parker in the top of the first inning.

Things went from bad to worse for CHS in the second inning, as Richland crossed home plate five more times in the frame with the help of a Rylee Brown single, a Cornersville error, an Edwards RBI double, a two-run single by Henderson, a Shannon Higgins single, and a two-run single by Scott to forge a 7-0 advantage.

The Lady Bulldogs had a chance to cut into the deficit in the bottom of the second after putting runners on first and second with two outs thanks to walks by Wolaver and Samantha Prosser, but Edwards retired the next CHS batter on a groundout to extinguish the threat.

Back-to-back

After Wolaver held the Lady Raiders scoreless in the third inning, Parker and Edwards cranked back-to-back solo homeruns in the top of the fourth to give Richland a 9-0 lead.

Cornersville left runners on first and second in the bottom of the fourth before the Lady Raiders brought the mercy rule into effect in the top of the fifth by plating one run in the frame on a two-out RBI double by Parker to stretch their lead to 10-0.

Edwards then worked around a two-out single by Wortham in the bottom fifth to wrap up the win for Richland.