The Harlan County Lady Bears snapped a four game losing skid with a 10-6 victory over visiting Pineville on Thursday.
Harlan County took an early lead with a four-run first inning.
Kaitlyn Stittums opened the inning with a walk. Katie Johnson followed with a single. Savannah Sergent drove in the first run of the game with a single. Bridget Robinson drove in a pair of runs with a double to the outfield. Tia King brought home the final run of the inning with a single.
The Lady Lions responded with four runs of their own to tie the game in the top of the second, but Harlan County regained the lead with a run in the bottom of the inning.
Katie Johnson tripled to lead-off the inning. Johnson scored when Robinson hit into a fielder’s choice.
Harlan County made it 6-4 with another run in the fourth inning.
Stittums singled and score in the inning to put the Lady Bears up by two.
Pineville closed the gap to 6-5 with a run in the fifth inning, but Farren Clark reached base on a fielder’s choice and score on a wild pitch to put Harlan County back up by two runs in the bottom of the inning.
The Lady Lions had an opportunity to tie or take the lead in the fifth inning. Pineville had the bases loaded with no outs, but Johnson struck out three straight batters to pitch the Lady Bears out of the jam. Johnson recorded 12 strikeouts, while scattering five hits in the complete-game victory on the mound.
Harlan County took control with three runs in the sixth inning.
Stittums doubled to reach base first. Johnson followed with a single. Sergent then tripled to drive in two runs. Sergent later scored for the final run to push the advantage to 10-5.
Pineville closed the gap with a run in the seventh inning, but the Lady Lions were unable to get any closer.
Johnson and Sergent each had a triple and a single to power the Harlan County offense. Stittums and King each delivered a double and a single. Robinson contributed a double, while Clark and Chyanna Harris each added a single.
Thursday’s win marked the first under the direction of new coach Tim McElyea, who replaces recently retired Howard White. McElyea was a head coach from 2007 to 2009 at Thomas Walker, Va., before spending the two previous seasons as assistant baseball coach at Harlan County.
“I told Howardy he left me with a couple of tough games to start with in Middlesboro and Corbin, but I like playing good competition,” McElyea said. “It wasn’t pretty today but it was a step in the right direction.”
Harlan County (3-5) returns to action today at home against Letcher Central, while Pineville (4-3) will host Knox Central.
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Pineville 040 010 0 — 6 5 2
Harlan Co. 410 113 x — 10 12 5
Lee-Theis and Sanders; Johnson and Robinson. WP — K. Johnson. LP — Lee-Theis.