"I think they were definitely motivated and they wanted to play today a lot because of what happened last night. I think they are one of the better teams in the district, and they showed it tonight," said Harlan coach Chuck Mitchell.
The Lady Skins were aggressive at the plate from the game's opening pitch and continued to hit the ball hard throughout.
"This is the first game in four (games) that we've hit the ball. If you had seen us last night against Cawood, you wouldn't have thought this was the same team. We're capable of hitting it, this was just the first time we have," said Cumberland coach Howard White.
"We challenged the five seniors to step up. I think tonight they showed they wanted to be out there. They came to play tonight."
After both teams had a quiet first inning, Cumberland got it going in the second frame.
Jessica Creech was hit by a pitch and Stacey Houser hit a blooper into shallow left-center field. An error on the play allowed Creech to score, and Houser advanced to second base. Natasha Pennington's two-out single brought Houser home, giving the Lady Skins a 2-0 lead.
Kelsey Day hit a ball to the right field fence for a triple to drive in Pennington. Lindsay Collier had an RBI single and later scored on a Dawn Metcalf double. The Lady Skins led 5-0 after two innings.
In the bottom of the second inning, Harlan was able to get two runners on board as Courtney Bell and Rhonda Curtis each had singles. But Cumberland escaped the threat by eliminating Bell on a fielder's choice and then ending the inning with a double play, throwing Alex Yount out at first and tagging Curtis at home.
The Lady Skins stayed aggresive at the plate in the third inning as they collected four more hits and a walk, along with two Harlan errors that allowed Cumberland to tack on four more runs in the inning to take a 9-0 lead after three innings.
Harlan shuffled its defensive alignment before taking the field in the top of the fourth, as Megan Ball moved from shortstop to first, Tierra Sundy moved from catcher to shortstop, Brittany Freeman switched to catcher and Alex Yount took Freeman's place in left field.
For the first time in the game, Harlan's hitters had significant success against Cumberland pitcher Dawn Metcalf in the fourth inning. Ball walked and Courtney Bell singled before Rhonda Curtis smacked a two-run double into left-center field.
Metcalf quickly returned to form as she retired the next two batters on groundouts to end the inning. After the fourth inning, Cumberland led the Lady Dragons 9-2.
Cumberland tacked on four more runs in top half of the sixth inning. Jessica Creech singled into left field to open the inning, then Ashley Creech blasted a mammoth home run into deep left-center field. The blast was the second in as many days for the senior catcher.
"When she gets ahold of it, she can hit it as far as anybody. When she gets her eye, she's dangerous," said White.
Harlan had only six hits in the game, compared to 17 for Cumberland. Mitchell attributed the discrepancy for the most part to the mental attitude the Lady Skins' hitters had.
"The difference was they were coming to the plate wanting to hit the ball. We were coming to the plate just hoping to get on base, basically. They were just so aggressive, they were jumping all over it. I was impressed with everyone, the way they came up so aggressive," said Mitchell.
"You've got to score more than two runs to win the ballgame. Our pitching was fine, we just did not hit the ball."
Harlan (1-2) returns to action Monday at Barbourville. Cumberland (3-1) will travel to Betsy Layne on Tuesday.
Both teams were also slated to play Leslie County on Friday, but those contests were washed out.
Cumberland 054 004 13 17 1
Harlan 000 200 2 6 6
Metcalf and A. Creech; Rice and Sundy, Freeman (4). WMetcalf (3-1). LRice (1-2). HRCumberland, A. Creech (2).