A Harlan County offense that was surprising explosive through the season’s opening three weeks, producing eight runs or more in four games thus far, was no match for lanky Clay County junior Lesley Roberts on Monday.
Roberts gave up five hits in five innings, getting stronger as the game progressed as the visiting Lady Tigers coasted to a 12-2 win. Roberts struck out six and walked none, dominating the HCHS lineup my mixing up her pitches, using a fastball to get ahead and then going to off-speed offerings to finish off the Lady Bears.
Tia King had two singles to lead the Harlan County offense. Bridget Robinson contributed a triple. Savannah Sergent and Destinee Jenkins added singles.
Jenkins (4-3) suffered the loss as she allowed 12 runs on seven hits with one strikeout and six walks.
Clay grabbed a 5-0 lead in its first at bat, capitalizing on three Harlan County errors. Roberts had a two-run triple in the inning.
Harlan County got two runs back in the bottom of the first as Robinson tripled home King and Sergent, who had each reached base on singles.
The Lady Tigers added four runs in the third inning and three in the fourth to put the game away.
Singles by Briana Smith and Jalyn Loughran and a walk to Alicia Hicks loaded the bases in the third. Briana Smith drove in a run with a fielder’s choice grounder. Rachel Baker walked to force in another run. Lesley Roberts brought in a run with a ground out and Alex Roberts pushed the lead to 9-2 when she reached on an error.
Alex Smith singled and Alex Roberts doubled in the fourth. Smith singled home one run, then Baker’s double to deep center pushed the Clay County lead to 10 runs.
Roberts got stronger as the game progressed, striking out the side in the fourth and retiring the Lady Bears in order in the final two innings.
Harlan County (4-3) will travel to Lee, Va., on Wednesday in its final game of the week. The Lady Bears will play host to Knox Central on Monday.
Clay County 504 30 — 12 7 0
Harlan County 200 00 — 2 5 5
L. Roberts and A. Roberts; Jenkins and Robinson. WP — L. Roberts. LP — Jenkins (4-3).