Journal-Times (Grayson, KY)

Local Sports

March 28, 2012

Lady Raiders thrash Eagles

March 28, 2012 —     Momentum can often times be contagious.

    For the East Carter softball team, the trend of winning has certainly caught on. The girls from Grayson capped off a three-game winning streak at home Monday night as it destroyed a visiting Fairview squad, 11-1.

    Before the shellacking of the Lady Eagles, the Lady Raiders and head coach Derek Calhoun gave everyone a reason to believe, as they grabbed a signature win over Lawrence County last Thursday night on the road, 8-7.

    This was a monumental win for an East Carter softball program that had never beaten the dominant Lady Bulldogs in all its years of competition.

    Prior to the game against Fairview, Calhoun commented on the impact the win over Lawrence has had on his young team.

    “That was a huge win for us in so many ways,” Calhoun said. “We are a young team, and when you can pull off a win against a team like Lawrence County, it adds another level of confidence to your team. To be the first team to every beat Lawrence, that is a huge accomplishment for us.”

    As the Lady Raiders took the field Monday night, confidence was not an issue, as it jumped on the Lady Eagles from the get go.

    Tori Qualls commanded the mound in all six innings of play, as she struck out six batters while allowing only one run on two hits.

    East scored four runs in the bottom of the second inning, as Kayla Hall and Qualls lead off the lineup with singles. This would be a running trend for the Lady Raiders on the night, as it ended up with an impressive 17 total hits.

    Calhoun said the key to his team’s success lately lies in the ability they have shown while in the batters box.

    “We’ve been playing pretty good down the line,” Calhoun said. “When we have needed those big hits, someone on our squad has stepped up to the challenge. This is what we need in order to succeed, for our girls to play big when we need it most.”

    East Carter went on to score seven more runs in the game, including four more in the fifth inning alone.

    When all was said and done, the Lady Raiders were able to end the game in six innings, making way for an early celebration on a 3-1 start.

    In addition to her dynamite performance on the mound, Qualls also went three for four at the plate, tallying three RBI’s on the evening. Hall also went three for four, picking up two RBI’s, while Jordy Wheller and Missy Withrow also had solid nights, going two for four.

    With only three upper classmen on the team, the East’s girls are predominantly a youth-driven team.

    Calhoun said even though they are young, they mustn’t be intimidated by the some of the region’s more experienced forces.

    “We understand we are young, but we have to believe we can beat those good teams,” Calhoun said. “They can’t worry about the names on the front of the jersey’s, we just have to do what we do best and things will take shape from there.”

    After the home win, East will have another day before they head to Sheldon Clark tomorrow night, followed by matchup with top regional competitor Rowan County on Saturday.

    You can catch up on all the latest Lady Raiders softball action in next Wednesday’s edition of the Journal-Times.

    Grant Stevens can be reached at gstevens@journal-times.com or by telephone at 1-800-247-6142.

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