Lady Bulldogs sweep past Mt. Pleasant
Cornersville senior pitcher Mary Taylor Hickman once again out dueled Mt. Pleasant staff ace Alyssa Lemay, as she tossed her fourth shutout of the season to lead the Lady Bulldogs (7-4, 5-1 District) to a 3-0 road victory over the Lady Tigers (11-8, 4-2 District) on Friday night.
Thanks to Friday's triumph, Cornersville completed the sweep of the season series against Mt. Pleasant and moved into sole possession of second place in the District 11-A standings.
Having won the two previous matchups against Lemay, which included a 1-0 win on March 24, Hickman continued to torment Mt. Pleasant batters and yielded just two hits and a walk in seven scoreless innings of work while racking up 10 strikeouts en route to earning her sixth victory of the season.
"Our defense and some great pitching by Mary Taylor won it today. She hit her spots and varied her speed just enough to keep them off balance," said CHS coach Eric Crabtree.
Nana Ward doubled to account for the Lady Tigers' lone extra base hit of the contest, while Alexia Angus singled.
Lemay acquitted herself well in the circle and allowed only two hits and three walks over seven innings to go along with nine strikeouts, but was hurt by a costly Mt. Pleasant error, which led to two of the Lady Bulldogs' three runs.
Miranda Cooksey delivered the biggest hit of the game for Cornersville with a two-run single in the top of the fourth inning. Kirsten Young singled for the Lady Bulldogs as well, while Carson Coble drew two walks.
The Lady Tigers had a chance to do some damage in the bottom of the first inning when they put runners on second and third with two outs on the strength of a Lemay walk and a double by Ward. Hickman, however, quickly settled down and struck out Mabry Davis to escape the jam.
Lemay held CHS scoreless over the next two innings, but the Lady Bulldogs managed to scratch out two unearned runs in the top of the fourth to grab a 2-0 lead.
After reaching second base thanks to a throwing error by Mt. Pleasant third baseman Rebecca Holden, Hannah Singleton advanced to third on an Emma Mitchell sacrifice bunt. Coble then drew a walk and stole second before Cooksey plated both runners by serving a two-out bloop single down the right field line.
In the top of the sixth, Cornersville tacked on an insurance run to open up a 3-0 advantage when Mitchell raced home on a RBI sacrifice bunt by Kelsey Wortham after drawing a one-out walk and stealing second and third base.
"This is the first time this year that we manufactured runs. This is probably the best pitcher we'll face in District play so we had to bunt and play some small ball," said Crabtree.
Hickman then took care of the rest, as she worked around a one-out bunt single by Angus in the bottom of the sixth before retiring the Lady Tigers in order in the seventh inning to seal the win for the Lady Bulldogs.