Middlesboro Daily News
EAST PINEVILLE — The Bell County Lady Cats wrapped up an unbeaten district season and celebrated senior night with a 15-0 win over Harlan Monday.
Senior Rachel Yeary fired a four-inning no-hitter while walking two and striking out three to earn the win. Kristen Slusher belted a pair of two-run doubles, Jess Sanders drove in four runs with two doubles and a single and Lauren Spurlock also had a two-run double and an RBI ground out. The Lady Cats also got a triple and single from Alisha Russell and a two-run double off the bat of Alex Gambrel.
“That was our goal coming into the season, to be the number one seed in the district. Of course you still have to win it on the field, we’ve given it away the last two years,” Lady Cat coach J.W. Campbell said. “We just want a chance to be there in that championship game and see what happens.”
The Lady Dragon’s best scoring chance actually came in the top of the first as Madison Noe drew a walk leading off. She advanced to second and then to third on ground outs, but Yeary got a strikeout to end the inning. Harlan’s only other base runners were Katelyn Estep, who walked in the third, and Madison Brewer, who reached on an error with two outs in the fourth.
Bell got two runs in the bottom of the first inning. Russell led off with a triple, Gambrel walked and Slusher was hit by a pitch to load the bases. With one out, Sanders drove in two runs with a double for a 2-0 lead.
The Lady Cats put it out of reach with a ten-run second inning. Hillary Lowe led off by drawing a walk and one out later Gambrel also walked. Slusher then drove the first pitch she deep and over the head of the Harlan left fielder for a two-run double. Yeary was hit by a pitch then Sanders delivered an RBI single. Haley Goodman walked to load the bases and Kendra Taylor brought Yeary in with a ground out to short. Spurlock doubled in two runs to make it 8-0, and after walks to Lowe and Russell, Gambrel and Slusher connected on back-to-back two-run doubles for a 12-0 lead.
“I think they had to overcome some emotions from senior night in the first inning. By the second inning we began to focus better and we hit the ball all over the field, there’s not much more I can ask,” Campbell added.
Bell tacked on one run in the third as Goodman reached on an error, stole second, went to third on Taylor’s ground out and then scored on Spurlock’s ground out.
The game was called with one out in the bottom of the fourth after the Lady Cats scored twice to bring the 15-run rule into effect.
Russell walked, Slusher was hit by a pitch, then Yeary and Sanders hit consecutive RBI singles to end it.
Both teams return to action on Thursday with Bell County (17-7) at Lee, Va., and Harlan (8-14) at Middlesboro.
— — —
Harlan 000 0 — 0 0 1
Bell Co. 2(10)1 2 — 15 11 1
Brewer, Noe (2), Brewer (2) and Goins; Yeary, Spurlock (4), Yeary (4) and Slusher.