By MacKenzie Bates - Sports Editor
April 2, 2014 — As an eighth grader, East Carter pitcher Montana Fouts has the ability to strike out any batter she faces.
On Thursday against rival West Carter, Fouts recorded 13 punchouts, giving up one hit and one walk and went 2-for-4 with three RBI as the Lady Raiders defeated the Lady Comets 4-0 in Olive Hill.
“We got a great performance from Montana and we played solid defense behind her,” East Coach Derek Calhoun said. “That’s going to be the norm for us if we’re going to beat competitive ball teams like West.”
The Lady Raiders were up 1-0 in the top of the fifth inning before the bats came alive. East had three doubles in four at-bats, one by Eden Mayo, Whitney Hall and Fouts. Hall’s extra-base hit scored Mayo while Fouts’s shot to centerfield scored Hall and Jordyn Wiler. East had eight hits in the game.
“It took us a little time to get going and I told them after the game that we’re going to have games like this,” Calhoun said. “We had to rely on our pitching and defense to keep us in ballgames like these.”
Fouts’ only blemish came in the bottom of the third inning when West Carter junior Erika Kitchen hit a single to right field.
“If you only get one hit, you’re not going to win too many games,” West skipper Jess Cordery said. “Kudos to Fouts. She did an outstanding job on us. We just weren’t prepared and now we have to work on our hitting to get better.”
West Carter starting pitcher Alyssa Shelton held her own against East Carter for the first few innings. She gave up four runs on eight hits and struck out three Lady Raiders. Leatha Reynolds relieved Shelton, pitching the last three frames and did not give up a hit. She also recorded three strikeouts.
“Alyssa did a pretty good job for us,” Cordery said. “She started getting the ball up in the strike zone late in the game and when that happens, they’re going to hit the ball hard.”
Whitney Hall also went 2-for-4 with an RBI. Kayla Hall, Alexis Pennington and Wiler each recorded hits for East Carter.
But Calhoun could not say enough about his pitching.
“(Montana) is a very good pitcher and we’ve got two dandies (speaking of Fouts and junior Morgan Jacobs),” Calhoun said. “It’s exciting for us and they’re only going to get better. If your pitcher is getting 13 strikeouts in one game, you’re going to win a lot of ballgames”
While Calhoun and East Carter enjoyed the win over their rivals, he knows the Lady Comets are going to get better.
“We don’t overlook them at all anytime we play them,” Calhoun said. “We know we’re going to see them at least two more times this season. We need to be ready to play every time we meet them on the field.”
East Carter defeated Elliott County 11-0 on Monday. They travel to Clarkesville, Tenn. Friday to take part in the Play it Again Classic this weekend. West Carter hosted Elliott County Tuesday.
MacKenzie Bates can be reached at email@example.com or by telephone at 1-800-247-6142.