Lady Bulldogs pull away from Mt. Pleasant

Friday, May 2, 2014
Cornersville pitcher Mary Taylor Hickman allowed just four hits and racked up 13 strikeouts to help lead the Lady Bulldogs to a 6-1 win over Mt. Pleasant. Tribune photos by Louis G. Scheuchenzuber

The Cornersville Lady Bulldogs captured the third seed in the District 11-A tournament by defeating Mt. Pleasant 6-1 on Wednesday afternoon at home to earn a split of the season series with the Lady Tigers.

After losing to Mt. Pleasant 4-2 in their previous encounter on March 27, Cornersville (15-10, 5-5 District) needed to beat the Lady Tigers (7-13, 5-5 District) by three or more runs in Wednesday's contest in order to win the tie breaker between the two teams, but held just a 2-1 lead through the first four innings of play.

Heated inning

The Lady Bulldogs, however, saw their bats heat up in the bottom of the fifth and crossed home plate four times in the frame to forge a 6-1 advantage before CHS starting pitcher Mary Taylor Hickman held Mt. Pleasant scoreless over the final two innings.

Cornersville's Miranda Cooksey slides safely into second while stealing a base in the bottom of the fifth inning against Mt. Pleasant.

Aided by their late offensive flurry, Cornersville finished with seven hits and two walks against Lady Tiger starting hurler Kaylee Davis. Carson Coble did the most damage at the plate for the Lady Bulldogs and went 2-for-2 with a walk, a homerun, and 3 RBI. Hannah Singleton added two hits and a RBI for CHS as well, while Kelsey Wortham (1 RBI), Taylor Wolaver (1 RBI), and Emma Mitchell each had one hit.

"We focused on trying to hit pitches down in the zone because their pitcher has a nasty rise ball. If she threw a pitch in the zone, we had to jump on it," said Cornersville coach Eric Crabtree. "I think the tournament we played in last week really helped us and made us jell. I think we're starting to peak at the right time."

Eighth victory

Hickman turned in a strong performance in the circle to earn her eighth win of the season, as she racked up 13 strikeouts in seven innings of work while yielding just four hits and issuing no walks.

Davis was Mt. Pleasant's most dangerous hitter and went 2-for-3 with a double, a homerun, and a RBI. Alyssa Lemay and Morgan Webb also notched a hit for the Lady Tigers.

Mt. Pleasant had a chance to take the lead in the top of the first inning when they put runners on first and second with one out thanks to a Lemay double and an error, but Hickman struck out the next two Lady Tiger hitters to escape the jam.

In the bottom of the first, the Lady Bulldogs plated a run without the benefit of a hit to grab a 1-0 lead. After drawing a leadoff walk, Hopkins advanced all the way to third on a Wortham sacrifice bunt before coming home on a RBI groundout by Wolaver.

Building a win

Cornersville then opened up a 2-0 advantage in the bottom of the third when Wolaver scored on a two-out RBI single by Coble after hammering a double to deep centerfield and advancing to third on a wild pitch.

Davis belted a solo homerun in the top of the fourth to narrow the gap to 2-1, but the Lady Bulldogs broke the game open by pushing across four runs in the bottom of the fifth to stretch their lead to 6-1.

Mitchell singled to lead off the inning before advancing to third on a Hopkins sacrifice bunt and a passed ball. After Wortham drove in Mitchell with a RBI double, Coble cranked a two-out, two-run homer over the left field fence to make it 5-1. Miranda Cooksey then reached base on an error before stealing second and scoring on a RBI single by Singleton.

Hickman took care of the rest, as she worked around a one-out double in each of the final two innings to wrap up the win for Cornersville.