Pope John Paul II blanks Lady Bulldogs
Having won both of their pool games the previous evening, the Cornersville Lady Bulldogs (12-9) fell into the Bronze Division of the Franklin/Sonic Tournament after losing 6-0 in five innings to 2013 Division II Class AA runner-up Pope John Paul II on Saturday morning at Fly Park in the first round of the double elimination portion of the tourney.
Bolstered by a pair of three-run innings, the Lady Knights (21-10) finished with six hits and two walks against two Cornersville hurlers to go along with two Lady Bulldog errors.
Amanda Kuban led Pope John Paul's offensive attack by going 2-for-2 with a run scored. Chelsey Smith (1 RBI), Taylor Williams (1 RBI), first baseman Alley McDonald (1 RBI), and Savannah Lewis notched one hit apiece for the Lady Knights as well.
On the mound
Cornersville eighth grade pitcher Mikaela King received a baptism by fire against Pope John Paul and suffered the loss in the circle after yielding six runs, four earned, over an inning and a third on five hits and two walks. Mary Taylor Hickman then came on in relief of King and allowed just one hit in two and two-third innings of work.
Lady Knight starting hurler Chelsy Stephenson went the distance in the circle to earn the win and limited CHS to only four hits in the contest while issuing no walks and recording four strikeouts.
Madison Hopkins, Taylor Wolaver, Carson Coble, and Samantha Prosser tallied one hit apiece for the Lady Bulldogs.
Stephenson worked around a leadoff single by Hopkins in the top of the first inning before Pope John Paul plated three runs in the bottom half of the frame with the help of a hit batsman, two walks, a Chelsea Fair sacrifice fly, and a Cornersville error to take a 3-0 lead.
The Lady Knights quickly doubled their lead by crossing home plate three more times in the second inning to forge a 6-0 advantage. Kuban singled to lead off the inning before advancing to second on a sacrifice bunt by Alexis Williams. After belting a RBI triple to deep centerfield, Smith scored on a Taylor Williams RBI single to make it 5-0. Williams then advanced to second on a single by Lewis prior to racing home on a McDonald RBI single.
The Lady Bulldogs had a chance to cut into the deficit in the top of the fourth after Wolaver and Coble both singled to put runners on first and second with no outs, but McDonald caught a line drive by Miranda Cooksey and doubled up Coble at first base before Stephenson fanned the next CHS batter to extinguish the threat.
Stephenson then retired Cornersville in order in the top of the fifth inning to wrap up the win for Pope John Paul II.