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Lady Cougars Take Advantage of Lady Eagles Wildness
By Chris Heimer
The Highland Lady Cougars took advantage of several wild pitches, pass balls and six errors by the Knox County Lady Eagles to score five times and post a 5-1 victory. The win gives the Lady Cougars a record of 5-2, while the loss drops the Lady Eagles to 4-4 on the season.
The Lady Cougars had a great opportunity to score in the bottom of the second, after a lead off single by Kalyn Lay, who advanced to second on a fielding error by the center fielder. Lay advanced to third when Emily Sly reached on an error-putting runners on first and third with nobody out. “That looked like a big inning for us but we ran ourselves out of it, but we were able to come back later,” Coach Scifres said. Sly was then thrown out trying to steal second for the first out. Ashley Runquist then grounded back to the Brittney Miller who looked at Lay for a second and then threw to first for the second out, but when Miller threw to first Lay broke for home and was thrown out by Holly Kite who threw to Lorrie Peters who tagged Lay out to end the inning. “It looked like we had the momentum at that point, we were playing good defense,” Coach Crawford said.
The Lady Eagles had a great opportunity of their own in the fourth inning when they had runners on second and third with one out. Holly Kite singled with one out. Lorrie Peters followed her with a single and both runners moved up an extra base when Margo Myers booted the ball in leftfield. Samantha Murfin was able to got out of the jam by striking out the next two batters to end the inning. Coach Crawford said, “We had opportunities to score but we just couldn’t get the ball through the infield.”
The Lady Cougars carried that momentum into the bottom of the fourth and pushed across two runs thanks to back-to-back walks to Amanda Hinkle and Samantha Murfin to lead off the inning. Hinkle and Samantha [Murfin] would both score on pass balls giving the Lady Cougars a 2-0 lead after four innings. “Brittney has been stellar with her pitching this year but she had an off night, I don’t know if she was tired or what, I’ve been telling her all year that she can’t be walking people or throw wild pitches, or people are going to take advantage of that and that is what happened tonight,” Coach Crawford said. Coach Scifres said, “We really got a boost when we scored those two runs without a hit, we had noticed during warm ups that she was a little wild and we told the girls to be aggressive and take advantage of that and that gave us some momentum and we took off from there.”
The Lady Eagles cut the lead to 2-1 in the top of the fifth when Myra Parrish reached on an error by Jessica Murfin and scored on Hannah Dale’s RBI double. That was as close as the Lady Eagles would get as the Lady Cougars added two more runs in the bottom of the fifth as Chelsea Brennan got a one out walk and Margo Myers was hit by a pitch putting runners on first and second with one out. Jessica [Murfin] laid down a sacrifice moving the runners up to second and third. Amanda Hinkle got a hit to right field, scoring Brennan from third, and Chevie Wiseman running for Myers, scored when the throw from first baseman Holly Kite short-hopped Peters and got away making the score 4-1 in favor of the Lady Cougars.
Coach Scifres said, “Amanda hit the ball hard and that is something that we have been trying to work on lately is going the other way with the ball, especially with runners in scoring position and she did a great job and had a good at bat.” The Lady Cougars added one more run in the bottom of the sixth thanks to three Lady Eagle errors. Ashlan Knoche led off and reached on a throwing error by Parrish. She advanced to second on a pass ball and moved to third on a ball hit to Kite at first. With two outs Ashley Runquist hit a ball to the shortstop who miss played it and allowed Knoche to score and Runquist to reach first base giving the Lady Cougars a 5-1 lead.
The Lady Eagles put a rally together in the top of the seventh by putting runners on second and third with one out thanks to an error by Jessica [Murfin] and a one out single by Amanda Woods, but Samantha [Murfin] was able to retire the next two batters to end the game. “I’ve been real proud of my girls all year they fight to the end and don’t give up, but we just couldn’t get a clutch hit tonight and that hurt,” Coach Crawford said.
Kalyn Lay and Amanda Hinkle had the only two hits for the Lady Cougars. Samantha Murfin picked up the win giving her a record of 2-0. She gave up one run, which was unearned, on four hits, while striking out 11, and walking two. “Samantha did a great job, both of the Murfin girls pitch really well and it is a good problem to have as far as who is going to throw which night, and Samantha really stepped up tonight and did a great job for us,” Coach Scifres said.
Holly Kite, Lorrie Peters, Amanda Woods, and Hannah Dale all had a hit for the Lady Eagles. Brittney Miller took the loss giving up five runs, two of which were unearned, on two hits, while striking out five, walking four, and hitting one batter.