CMS Lady Bulldogs take down Richland

Friday, March 31, 2017
The eighth-grade Lady Bulldogs gather for a picture after being honored for their junior high careers.
Tribune photos by Mike Inglsbee

Although the CMS Lady Bulldogs (11-8) have already participated in its post-season tournament for the Maury County Conference, Cornersville welcomed Richland to town Tuesday night for a makeup double-header.

The feeder programs for two highly successful high school teams were expected to engage in a tight battle, but the Lady Bulldogs won an easy 9-0 contest in just four innings in the first game of the twin bill.

"My girls have really started hitting," CMS coach Bryant Porter stated. "Probably the last six, seven, eight games. And once we adjusted to the different pitching, they started hitting and I knew they could handle it from there."

"These girls are killing the ball right now," Porter added. "They've been averaging 15-to-16 hits per game. And when you're hitting you don't have to worry about mistakes."

The Lady Bulldogs started off on a tear, scoring two runs in the first inning and tacking on two more in the second, before CJ Thompson hit a bomb into centerfield to push the lead to 6-0.

The third inning started off with an Abbie Woodard single to left and after the leftfielder missed the ball, Woodard advanced to third base.

Meri Hannah Walker came up with an infield single to score Woodard for a 7-0 lead, before Richland forced the final out of the inning.

The Lady Raiders threatened in the fourth inning as Sydney McClure dropped a single into centerfield, before Gillian Linglebach hit a double into center to put runners on second and third.

Lady Bulldog hurler Cara Duke tosses a strike during Cornersville’s big win over Richland.

Cornersville pitcher Cara Duke rallied to force a groundout and struck out Taylor Childress to end the inning.

Alehie Childress started off the fourth inning with a deep double to the left field fence, before Thompson followed suit with a RBI double that also hit the left field fence to push the score to 8-0.

Woodard struck out, but gained first base on a passed ball before Duke jacked a double down the left field line to score Woodard and end the contest prematurely.

Duke went the distance with a four inning shutout performance, giving up just two hits.

"(Duke) just put the ball on the plate and let them swing at it," Porter explained. "They struggled to hit her. She's got a nice little change-up and threw it enough times to keep them off-balance and just did her job. She just kept it on the plate and let her defense do the work."

After honoring the eighth-graders for their junior high careers and a short break, play resumed between the two longtime rivals.

The Raiders came to play in the second game of the night, taking a 4-2 lead in the fourth inning, but the Lady Bulldogs scored 10 runs in the fifth and one more in the sixth to win 15-5 to end the night.

"Our hitting has allowed us to improve over the course of the season," Porter said. "And really, truthfully, as weird as this may sound, we got the monkey off our back. We beat Lewisburg earlier in the year and from that point on, they've been as comfortable as can be."

The Lady Dawgs jumped out with the early lead as Woodard hit a lead-off single and advanced to second on a Daisey Bazaldua single past third base.

Walker laid down a beautiful sacrifice bunt to score Woodard, before the inning ended on a bunt during the next at bat.

Cornersville third baseman Abbie Woodard guns down a Lady Raider runner at first base during the Lady Bulldogs’ win over Richland Tuesday night.

Cornersville tacked on one more run in the second for the 2-0 lead, but the Lady Raiders finally woke up with a Kaitlyn Cox single to bring the lead down to 2-1 and Harlee Rich knocked a double into center to tie the game at 2-2.

Hallee Braden added an RBI single to left field, followed by a Jesse Jennings triple to push the Raider lead to 4-2.

The Bulldogs answered in a big way starting off with a Childress solo home run and a Lexi Warren double before Thompson singled up the middle to tie the game.

By the time the dust settled after a Woodard double brought home two more runs, the lead had stretched to 14-4 and Cornersville was in complete control.

Thompson calmed down and allowed just one more run over the next two innings, before the game finally ended with a 15-5 Bulldog win.

Cornersville takes the field more time versus Bridgeforth on Tuesday before the season officially comes to a close.