Midland girls win
ONA -- Going against one of the top pitchers in the state, Cabell Midland softball coach Jeanne Lunsford knew her team needed a solid effort at the plate on Friday.
Lunsford watched as Cabell Midland started with small-ball and ended with a huge inning against South Charleston's Allie Burdette to take down the Black Eagles, 10-2, in a mercy-rule shortened six-inning victory.
"Allie's ball moves very well and she throws it for location and hits her spots," Lunsford said. "We hit a very good pitcher today and I'm very proud of the girls. They weren't trying to overhit or overswing. They just made contact and let her pitch do what it was going to do."
A seven-run sixth inning capped the performance as the Knights ended with five straight hits against Burdette, capped by Morgan Kelley's two-run home run to right-center that ended the game. It was Kelley's second home run in two days.
Kelley's home run was preceded by a two-run RBI triple by Mandi King and RBI singles by Jordan Colliflower and Morgan Zerkle at the top of the Cabell Midland order.
Prior to the seven-run sixth to end the game, the game was locked in a pitcher's duel.
Burdette's home run in the top of the sixth had cut the Knights' lead to 3-2. It was the Black Eagles' first hit since the second inning off of pitcher Jenna Marsh, who had stayed consistent and induced ground balls to keep South Charleston at bay throughout.
"I didn't expect that type of result," Lunsford said. "I expected the 3-2 game on either side due to the pitching."
The left side of Cabell Midland's infield got quite a workout in the contest as Zerkle, the Knights' third baseman, and shortstop Erin Kaplan consistently made plays to keep the Black Eagles from getting on the scoreboard.
Of 18 South Charleston outs in the contest, 14 were in play with 10 being fielded by Zerkle and Kaplan. Another critical play came in the second inning when Colliflower snagged a line drive to left field on the run with the bases loaded and the Knights protecting a 2-1 lead.
While the Knights used the big bat late in the game, it was small-ball to lead Cabell Midland out to a 2-0 advantage.
The Knights opened the game with three consecutive infield singles to take a 1-0 lead before a passed ball led to a 2-0 advantage after one inning.
Lunsford said her team's ability to get the bunt down was crucial.
"I think getting bunts down were key," Lunsford said. "It puts pressure on the defense and on the pitching."
Colliflower ended the game 3-for-4 with two RBIs while King and Zerkle each finished with a pair of hits.
Burdette, who finished with eight strikeouts, had two of South Charleston's three hits in the loss.
SOUTH CHARLESTON 010 001 -- 2 3 1
CABELL MIDLAND 201 007 -- 10 11 2
Burdette and Catlett. Marsh and Koontz.
Hitting: (SC) Burdette 2-3, HR, RBI; Phillips RBI. (CM) Colliflower 3-4, 2 RBIs; Kelley HR, 2 RBIs; King 2-4, 3B, 2 RBIs; Zerkle 2-3; Brumfield 3B, RBI.