A sluggish start was too much for the Harlan Lady Dragons to overcome Monday, as they fell 9-8 to Bell County in the 52nd District opener.
Bell County struck first with four runs in the first inning. The Lady Cats pushed their lead to 6-0 with a pair of runs in second inning. The lead grew to seven runs in the fourth inning, before Harlan made a comeback bid.
The Lady Bears closed the gap to 6-2 with a pair of runs in the bottom of the fourth.
Madison Noe reached base on a fielder’s choice. Jourdan Ledford then reached on an error. Katie King loaded the bases with a single, and Torri Mitchell followed with a single to bring in Noe. Ledford was forced home when Alyssa Mills reached on a walk.
After a Bell run in the fifth inning, Harlan responded with one in the sixth.
Mitchell singled to reach base in the inning. She stole second and third and scored when Mills hit into a fielder’s choice.
The Lady Dragons reeled off five runs in the seventh inning, but came up just short.
Anna Karst led off the inning with a single. She scored ona double from Noe. Ledford followed with a walk. Noe and Ledford scored on a Mitchell double. Mills reached on an error. Mitchell scored on the play. Amber Fee drove in Mills with a single.
Mitchell had a double and twio singles to pace Harlan at the plate. Noe recorded a double and a single. Karst, King and Fee each added a single.
Mitchell struck out one batter in the start. Noe recorded three strikeouts in six innings of relief.
Harlan (4-4 overall, 0-1 district) will travel to Whitley County today, while Bell County (1-4 overall, 1-0 district) will host Knox Central.
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Bell Co. 420 110 1 — 9 9 6
Harlan 000 201 5 — 8 8 6
Garrett and Sanders; Mitchell and Noe (2) and Holland.