By MacKenzie Bates - Sports Editor
April 10, 2013 — The West Carter softball team hosted Rowan County in Olive Hill on a chilly Tuesday evening.
But it was the Lady Vikings who had the last laugh, as Rowan defeated West 1-0 in what most would consider a pitcher’s duel.
Rowan pitcher Morgan Mitchell threw a complete game shutout against the Comets, striking out 10 in the victory.
“We had a total team effort,” Mitchell said. “(West Carter) is a really good team and we had to come out here and get things done.”
The Lady Comets countered with the tandem of Leatha Reynolds and Alyssa Shelton and both did not disappoint.
Reynolds pitched four innings, giving up only four hits, did not issue any walks while striking out six. Shelton came on in relief, throwing the last three innings as she surrendered one hit and one walk while fanning five Lady Vikings.
“There’s some building blocks there,” West skipper Greg Reynolds said. “Our pitchers worked good and defense played well. We had some errors on third but I think we’ll be fine after we play a few more games.”
Lady Vikings sophomore designated player Abby Hammond provided the only offensive fireworks in the game when she singled home center fielder Mackenzie Summers off Shelton in the fifth inning.
“Rowan County always has some girls that can hit,” Reynolds said. “It was a good hit. …but for us to be successful we have to hit the ball, too.”
West Carter did not help themselves at the plate, getting three hits and stranding 10 runners on base.
“We didn’t hit the ball well,” Reynolds said. “Give (Mitchell) a lot of credit, she pitched a heck of a game, too. That's the best pitcher we've faced this year.”
West Carter’s best chance to score came in the bottom of the fifth. Brooke Callihan and Shelton singled and catcher Brooke Adkins walked to load the bases. Mitchell settled down, striking out Courtney Reynolds. Garvin forced the out, and then Leatha’s strikeout to end the threat.
Despite the loss, Reynolds sees plenty of upside for his team.
“It’s positive,” Reynolds said. “If you keep good teams to just score one run, you’re going to win a lot of ball games at the end year.”
West Carter participated in the 16th Region All “A” Tuesday night against Russell. If the Lady Comets win, they will play Friday night in the championship.
MacKenzie Bates can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at 1-800-247-6142.