The win was the Lady Skins' second this year over Harlan. Cumberland won the first meeting 13-2.
Both pitchers had almost flawless games for the first three innings. Cumberland senior Dawn Metcalf allowed only one hit in those innings. Her counterpart, seventh-grader Emily Caudill, gave up no hits. Neither team committed any errors up to that point in the game.
Although the Lady Skins were able to come back and win the in the late innings, Cumberland coach Howard White praised Caudill's performance on the mound.
"That girl pitched a heck of a game. I'd love to have a seventh-grader that can pitch like that," White said.
"She doesn't have one thing to be ashamed of. Yea I think she got a little tired, but we got lucky and hit one or two."
Harlan coach Chuck Mitchell agreed that although Caudill (5-4) wasn't as consistent in the later innings, the Lady Dragons' three errors in the final two frames gave Cumberland the opportunity to make a comeback.
"Even though Emily was getting tired, she was placing her pitches pretty well. We've just got to back her up in the field," said Mitchell.
Harlan opened the scoring with four runs in the top of the fourth inning. Harlan had three hits in the inning, but benefited from two Cumberland errors. Alex Yount doubled to knock in Courtney Bell and Rhonda Curtis. Yount eventually scored, as did Megan Ball.
The Lady Dragons retired Cumberland's three, four and five hitters in order during the bottom of the fourth.
With the bottom half of the order due up for Cumberland, small ball got the Lady Skins three runs in the fifth inning, even though no ball left the infield. Ashley Creech led off by reaching base on an error. The next batter, Erika Wynn, drew a walk. Then senior right fielder Arleena Sergent raced down the line for an infield single that scored Creech from third. The next three batters grounded out, but not before Wynn and Sergent crossed the plate.
"They didn't quit. We could have quit and folded our tent, but they just kept battling and finally something good happened for them," said White.
Cumberland entered the seventh inning down 5-3 after Harlan added another run in the sixth. The Lady Dragons once again allowed runners to get on base without hits. Creech led off the inning with a walk and Wynn reached base a fielding error. With no outs and runners at first and second, Sergent hit the ball sharply past a diving Curtis in left-center field. The ball rolled to the fence, giving Sergent a two-run double to tie the game at five.
Sergent advanced to third on a passed ball. Eighth-grader Kelsey Day then singled in Sergent to end the game.
"You just have a feeling that something is going to happen. At the first part of the game, we had a feeling that something bad was going to happen. Then about the fifth, sixth, seventh inning, you could start to see it in their eye that they knew we had a shot," said White.
Metcalf (5-3) was the beneficiary of Cumberland's late-inning offense. The senior picked up the complete game win as she fanned six and walked three.
To go along with her double, Sergent also singled to lead the Lady Skins. Kelsey Day added the game-winning single.
Yount doubled and singled to lead Harlan at the plate. Ball and Brittany Freeman each singled twice.
Harlan (9-8 overall, 3-2 district) will travel to Cawood for their final district game of the season. Cumberland (5-4, 2-1) will play host to Cawood on Wednesday.
Harlan 000 401 0 5 6 3
Cumberland 000 030 3 6 3 2
Caudill and Freeman. Metcalf and Creech. WMetcalf (5-3). LCaudill (5-4).
The Cawood Trojanettes also claimed a district victory Monday, rolling past host Evarts in five innings.
The Trojanettes pounded out 12 hits and capitalized on 16 walks and eight Evarts errors.
Junior Erica Pennington (3-2) earned the win for the Trojanettes, striking out 11 and allowing one hit in three innings of work. Courtney Lewis pitched the final two frames for Cawood.
Junior Amy Baird (0-2) suffered the loss for the Lady Cats. Kayla McCreary and Kristen Cornett also saw action on the mound for Evarts.
Cawood was led at the plate by Pennington's three singles. Brandi Hensley doubled and singled, and Tiffany Posey added a pair of singles. Courtney Bolin, Brittany Wilson, Stephanie Hampton, Denna Burkhart and Heather Posey each singled.
Cassandra Caudill and Rhonda Couch singled for Evarts' only hits.
In previously unreported games, the Trojanettes fell to Middlesboro 7-0; lost to Pineville 7-3; and fell to Lee, Va., 14-1.
Cawood (3-5 overall, 3-1 district) returns to action today at home against Harlan in another important district matchup, while Evarts (0-6, 0-4) will play host to Barbourville.
Cawood 227 83 22 12 0
Evarts 000 00 0 2 8
Pennington, Lewis (4) and Hensley; Baird, McCreary (5), Cornett (5) and Middleton, Baird (5). WPennington (3-2). LBaird (0-2).