Lady Bulldogs blitz Culleoka

Wednesday, May 7, 2014
Cornersville shortstop Madison Hopkins throws out Culleoka's Mariah Delk at first base in the top of the first inning. Tribune photos by Louis G. Scheuchenzuber

The Cornersville Lady Bulldogs (16-10) breezed into the second round of the District 11-A tournament by crushing the Culleoka Lady Warriors 10-0 in six innings on Thursday afternoon at Columbia Academy in their opening game of the tourney.

Bolstered by a four-run first inning, the Lady Bulldogs banged out 11 hits overall against Culleoka starting pitcher Mariah Delk to go along with three walks and one Lady Warrior error.

Hitting power

Cornersville's Samantha Prosser rounds third base while scoring on a two-run double by Emma Mitchell in the bottom of the first inning against Culleoka.

Leadoff hitter Madison Hopkins help set the table for Cornersville's offense by going 3-for-4 with two runs scored. Carson Coble also had a big day at the plate and went 2-for-2 with a walk, a double, a triple, and 5 RBI. Briley Bean added two hits and two runs scored for the Lady Bulldogs as well, while Emma Mitchell (2 RBI), starting hurler Taylor Wolaver (1 RBI), Kelsey Wortham, and Samantha Prosser each had one hit.

"We were aggressive in the box and on the base paths," said Cornersville coach Eric Crabtree. "I think we believe that we can make a run in the playoffs and are gelling at the right time."

Wolaver mowed down Culleoka's lineup with relative ease, as she recorded seven strikeouts and yielded just three hits in six scoreless innings of work to earn her seventh win of the season.

"That's probably the best Taylor has pitched all year. Her ball was really moving tonight," said Crabtree.

Delk, Megan Polk, and Christina Oakley each notched one hit for the Lady Warriors.

No waiting

The Lady Bulldogs took control of the game right from the start and pushed across four runs in the bottom of the first inning to take a 4-0 lead.

Hopkins singled to lead off the inning before advancing all the way to third on a bunt single by Wortham. After Hopkins raced home on Wolaver RBI groundout, Wortham scored on a Culleoka error to make it 2-0 while Hannah Singleton reached first base on the play. Singleton then advanced to second on a Prosser infield single before Mitchell roped a two-run double into the right centerfield gap.

The Lady Warriors had a chance to cut into the deficit in the top of the second after putting runners on first and second with two outs thanks to singles from Polk and Oakley, but Wolaver struck out Marlee Pendergrass to extinguish the threat.

In the bottom of the second, Cornersville continued to pull away from Culleoka and tallied two more runs in the frame to open up a 6-0 advantage. Following consecutive singles by Bean and Hopkins, Wortham hit into a fielder's choice to replace Hopkins on the base paths. Wortham then stole second before Coble belted a two-run triple to left field.

More runs

Delk held the Lady Bulldogs scoreless in the third inning, but Cornersville plated three runs in the bottom of the fourth to stretch their lead to 9-0. Bean and Wolaver sandwiched a pair of walks around a Hopkins single to load the bases with one out, before Coble cleared the bags by lacing a three-run triple into the left centerfield gap.

The Lady Bulldogs finally put Culleoka out of their misery by scoring a run in the bottom of the sixth to bring the mercy rule into effect. Following a one-out single by Wolaver, courtesy runner Amala Elder stole second before Coble drew a walk. After both runners moved up 60 feet on a passed ball, Elder scampered home on a RBI groundout by Singleton to cap Cornersville's 10-0 victory.