Journal-Times (Grayson, KY)

Local Sports

April 4, 2012

Lady Raiders beat Rowan in extra inning swing-off

April 4, 2012 —     Youth knows no limits for East Carter softball.

    After Rowan County tied the game at eight runs apiece in the bottom of the seventh, the Lady Raiders rocketed itself to a 12-8 victory in the extra inning for its fourth-straight victory.

    East’s girls jumped out to an early 5-0 lead by the time two and a half innings had passed, with big hits from Tori Qualls and Kayla Hall.

    Lady Raiders Head Coach Derek Calhoun said he has been pleased with his girls consistency on offense.

    “We’re swinging the bat pretty well right now,” Calhoun said. “I’m very pleased with that because that hasn’t been our biggest strength over the past couple of years. It gives us a little room to make those youthful mistakes that come along.”

    A Rowan County team riding a three-game losing streak mounted a comeback in the third. After Lady Viking Becca Duff picked up an RBI double to drive home two teammates, East Carter’s lead was cut to 5-3.

     After it held East to no runs in the fourth, the offensive burst by the Lady Vikings continued through the fourth and fifth by way of several errors by the young Lady Raiders squad.

    Rowan County added four more runs before  relief pitcher Tori Qualls stopped the bleeding in the bottom of the fifth innning with a blistering fastball to bring around another East batting cycle.

    The Lady Raiders rekindled some of its early momentum when outfielder Morgan Jacobs waylayed a shot to deep left field in the next frame, sending Qualls in from third to cut the deficit to one, 7-6.

    A solid fielding effort in the bottom of the inning ended with a nice scoop of a grounder by shortstop Whitley Hall, followed with a resounding strike out by Qualls to give East’s girls a chance to take the lead.

    Another deep shot to the left field wall by Starr Caldwell served as the launchpad to bring home Hall and Shayla Greer. The RBI double by Caldwell propelled East Carter into the lead, with a chance to pull out an 8-7 victory.

    Determined not to let this one slip away, the home team returned the favor when Meade crossed home plate on an awry throw to second by East, to make way for the first extra inning of the season for the Lady Raiders.

    Despite Rowan’s best efforts, East’s girls responded by sending several pitches on a journey to deep left field, including a near home run by Qualls.

    Hall then provided a much-needed spark for her team, pushing East’s lead to three on an RBI double. Tiffany McGuire followed with the proverbial icing on the cake on a grounder between second and first to give East the lead for good.

    Calhoun’s girls maintained in its final defensive frame, picking up three big outs to end the game for its fourth win of the year.

    Calhoun said although his girls made mistakes on the defensive side, he is happy to see his team making big plays to pick up wins.

    “We were fortunate to have hit so well today,” Calhoun said. ”Of course we weren’t happy with the way we played defensively, but we’re finding ways to win right now, and that is definitely a positive for the rest of the year.”

    Following the win, Calhoun and his Lady Raiders have had somewhat of an extended break, with their next game set to take place tomorrow night in a home doubleheader against Augusta.

    We will have more on these games 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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