Lady Bulldogs shut out Santa Fe, remain in 2nd
Santa Fe once again proved to be no match for Cornersville (8-4, 6-1 District) on the softball diamond, as the Lady Bulldogs' cruised to a 6-0 win to claim their 20th straight victory over the Lady Wildcats (3-5, 1-5 District).
Thanks to Tuesday's triumph, CHS maintained their hold over second place in the District 11-A standings while remaining only a game behind first place Columbia Academy.
Coming off a two-hit shutout against Mt. Pleasant four days earlier, Cornersville starting pitcher Mary Taylor Hickman produced another gem in the circle to pick up her seventh win of the year and yielded just three hits in six scoreless innings of work to go along with seven strikeouts.
Freshman Mikeala King then came on in relief of Hickman in the bottom of the seventh and retired all three Santa Fe batters she faced to complete the Lady Bulldogs' fifth shutout of the season.
Cornersville finished with nine hits and five walks against Lady Wildcat starting hurler Bailey Staggs, but missed some chances to blow the game open and left nine runners on base overall.
"I'm very proud of the way Mary Taylor pitched, but we can't kick it up in neutral and coast offensively. We need to put our foot on the gas and put the game away. We have a tendency to coast when we get up early," said CHS coach Eric Crabtree.
Carson Coble led the Lady Bulldogs' offensive attack by going 3-for-4 with a double, a RBI, and three runs scored, while Miranda Cooksey went 2-for-3 with a homerun and 3 RBI. Emma Mitchell (1 RBI), Madison Hopkins, Kirsten Young, and Samantha Prosser notched one hit apiece for Cornersville as well.
Rachel Ward tallied two hits to pace Santa Fe at the plate, while Meg Lusk added a double.
The Lady Bulldogs grabbed an early 2-0 lead by pushing across two runs in the top of the first inning. After drawing a two-out walk, Mitchell stole second prior to coming home on a Coble RBI double. Coble then advance to third on a wild pitch before Cooksey laced a RBI single into right centerfield.
Cornersville then opened up a 3-0 advantage in the top of the third when Coble scored on a sacrifice fly by Cooksey after belting a leadoff single and advancing to third on an error by the Lady Wildcats' centerfielder.
Santa Fe had a chance to cut into the deficit in the bottom of the fourth when Lusk smacked a leadoff double before advancing to third on a Ward single. Ward then stole second on the next pitch, but Hickman bore down and retired the next three Lady Wildcat batters on a pair of strikeouts and a groundout to escape the inning unscathed.
In the top of the fifth, Cooksey hit her second homerun of the season when she cranked a solo shot over the centerfield fence to stretch the Lady Bulldogs lead to 4-0.
Cornersville tacked on two more runs in the sixth inning to forge a 6-0 advantage. Following a leadoff walk by Hickman, courtesy runner Hannah Hart advanced to third on a couple of groundouts by Hopkins and Singleton prior to scoring on a Mitchell RBI single. Mitchell then advanced to third on a single by Coble before racing home on a wild pitch.
That proved to be more than enough runs for the Lady Bulldogs, as Hickman worked around a two-out single by Ward in the bottom of the sixth before King retired Santa Fe in order in the seventh inning.