Lady Bulldogs earn Region bid
Starting pitcher Mikaela King helped Cornersville advance to the Region 6-A tournament for the first time in five years on Wednesday night, as the sophomore hurler tossed a complete game shutout to lead the Lady Bulldogs to a 6-0 victory over Mt. Pleasant in the loser's bracket final of the District 11-A tourney at Culleoka High School.
Cornersville (15-7) had fallen in the loser's bracket final three of the previous four years before finally getting over the hump this year.
"I want to give all the credit to my assistant coaches because they've worked their tails off. We've also had strong senior leadership and an understanding administration," Lady Bulldog coach Eric Crabtree said.
Mt. Pleasant (16-12) had won two of the previous three matchups against Cornersville this season, which included a 1-0 victory in the second round of the tournament.
King, however, out dueled Lady Tiger staff ace Kaylee Davis this time around and limited Mt. Pleasant to just five hits in seven scoreless innings of work while piling up nine strikeouts and issuing no walks en route to earning her fourth victory of the tournament.
"I knew they were a good hitting team, but I knew that if I did my job the defense would do the rest," King said. "I was changing speeds and changing eye level. I wasn't throwing the same pitch twice and was keeping them on their toes. Winning the game means everything. Our goal was to make it to the Region tournament and we accomplished that."
Cornersville had scored only a total of one run in the three previous encounters against Mt. Pleasant, but finally managed to solve Davis on Wednesday night and banged out 10 hits against the hard throwing right hander.
Kirsten Young led the Lady Bulldogs' offensive attack by going 2-for-4 with a double, 2 RBI, and a run scored. Madison Hopkins and Hannah Singleton both tallied two hits and a RBI for Cornersville as well, while Emma Mitchell (1 RBI), Samantha Prosser, King, and Miranda Cooksey all had one hit apiece.
Miranda Goats, Kaylee Davis, Cheyanne Munden, Lauren Kelly and Mabrey Davis notched one hit apiece for the Lady Tigers.
The Lady Bulldogs left runners in scoring position in each of the first two innings, but finally broke through for a run in the top of the third to take a 1-0 lead. After drawing a one-out walk, Carson Coble advanced to second on a single by Prosser prior to coming home on a Hopkins RBI bloop single.
In the top of the fourth, Cornersville opened up a 2-0 advantage when Singleton raced home on a sacrifice fly by Coble after singling with one out and advancing to third on a Mt. Pleasant error.
The Lady Bulldogs then blew the game open by crossing home plate four more times in the fifth inning to forge a 6-0 lead. Following consecutive singles by King and Cooksey, Young plated courtesy runner Hannah Hart and Cooksey with a two-run double to make it 4-0. Singleton then laced an RBI triple to right field before scoring on a RBI infield single by Mitchell.
That proved to be plenty of run support for King, as she did not allow a Lady Tiger base runner to advance past first base over the final three innings to secure the shutout victory.