Lady Bulldogs double up Richland

Wednesday, April 15, 2015
Cornersville's Madison Hopkins slides safely into third base while advancing 60 feet on an infield single by Emma Mitchell. Tribune photos by Louis G. Scheuchenzuber

The Cornersville Lady Bulldogs (5-1, 4-0 District) completed the season sweep of archrival Richland (2-6, 2-5 District) on Thursday afternoon when they defeated the Lady Raiders 10-5 at home.

Having crushed Richland 16-0 in their previous encounter on March 26, Cornersville held just a 6-5 lead through the first two and a half innings of Thursday's contest due to some early miscues by its defense.

Fielding improves

The Lady Bulldogs, however, managed to clean up their play in the field and outscored the Lady Raiders 4-0 the rest of the way to remain undefeated in District play.

CHS shelled Richland pitching for the second time this season, as they pounded out 15 hits and drew five walks against Lady Raider starting hurler Rylee Brown, who suffered the loss.

Leadoff hitter Madison Hopkins helped spark the Lady Bulldogs' offensive explosion by going 3-for-4 with a walk, two doubles, 2 RBI, and two runs scored to raise her batting average to a gaudy .650 for the season.

"After we put Madison at leadoff, she has hit the ball really well. It's a confidence thing with her. Nobody wants to be the leadoff hitter, but she's taken it and run with it," said CHS coach Eric Crabtree.

Hitters

Hannah Singleton tallied three hits and 2 RBI as well, while Carson Coble (4 RBI), Emma Mitchell (2 RBI), Kelsey Wortham, and starting pitcher Mary Taylor Hickman notched two hits apiece. Sam Prosser also added a hit and two runs scored for the Lady Bulldogs.

Although she had a three-game shutout streak snapped, Cornersville starting pitcher Mary Taylor Hickman managed to overcome four errors by her defense and allowed five unearned runs in seven innings of work on nine hits while recording nine strikeouts and issuing no walks en route to picking up her fifth win of the season.

Cornersville first baseman Kirsten Young tries to throw out Richland's Brook Clark at first after fielding a groundball in the top of the third inning.

Brown paced the Lady Raiders at the plate by going 3-for-4 with a run scored. Hope Callahan (1 RBI) and Shannon Higgins tallied two hits apiece for Richland as well.

The Lady Bulldogs got off to a fast start and grabbed a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning when Coble roped three-run double into the right centerfield gap after CHS loaded the bases with no outs on a Hopkins single, a bunt single by Singleton, and a Mitchell infield single.

Big lead

Cornersville doubled their lead by pushing across three more runs in the second inning to open up a 6-0 advantage. Following leadoff single by Hickman, courtesy runner Alana Braden advanced to third on a Hopkins double. After driving in Braden with a RBI single to make it 4-0, Singleton stole second base. Hopkins then raced home on a sacrifice fly by Mitchell before Coble plated Singleton with a RBI single.

Richland took advantage of some CHS defensive miscues in the top of the third and got back into the game by scoring five runs in the frame with the help of three hits and three errors to slice the deficit to 6-5.

The Lady Bulldogs got one of those runs back in the bottom of the third when Prosser scored on a RBI bloop double by Singleton to stretch CHS' lead to 7-5 after belting a leadoff single and stealing second.

Cornersville catcher Emma Mitchell tries to throw out Richland's Lille Green at second base after fielding a slow roller by Brook Clark in the top of the fourth inning. Clark was ruled out on the play when the ball hit her foot in fair territory and Green was forced to return to first base.

Cornersville crossed home plate two times in the fourth inning on the strength of a Mikaela King walk, a hit batsman, and a two-run double by Hopkins to forge a 9-5 advantage before tacking on an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth on a RBI double by Mitchell to cap their 10-5 victory.