Journal-Times (Grayson, KY)

Local Sports

April 11, 2012

Lady Raiders waylay Augusta

April 11, 2012 —     Spring break is a time for friends, fun, and for the East Carter softball team, a double dose of victories.

    Following a week away from the diamond, the Lady Raiders got back to business when it put the hurt on visiting Augusta in a double header, winning the first game, 15-0, and the second, 19-0.

    A night of strong at bats went hand-in-hand with a near errorless performance and an equally robust night on the pitcher’s mound.

    Two strikeouts in the first inning by Morgan Jacobs kicked off the solid night for East, alleviating any would be pressure in the batters box.

    East Carter Head Coach Derek Calhoun expressed pride in his girls’ effort after the break from school and sports.

    “I know the girls get frustrated when we don’t play for so long,” Calhoun said.  “But it’s kind of hard to set up games when everybody is gone to the beach. We gave a solid effort defensively, and that may be overlooked by the big night we had offensively, but it really helped us to get things going tonight.”

    Three innings was all East needed to seal the deal in the first matchup of the doubleheader, picking up 9, 5 and 1 in the blowout.

    Sophomore Alexis Pennington traded her sharpness with a glove for aggressiveness on offense, going three for three in the opener, with three RBI’s.

    Whitney Hall and Tori Qualls also helped to keep things rolling for the home team, each going two for two, nabbing two and one in the RBI department.

    Jacobs did not provide an inch of hope for Augusta, picking up two more k’s before the end of the game.

    “We came out just like we have the rest of the games,” Calhoun said. “The girls knew what to expect. They gave us their best fastball and our girls just hit the ball well.”

    Though the first game ended in mercy after the third inning, the two teams followed the schedule and waited until 7:30 to begin the second.

    Same story, different game, made for the follow-up tale.

    In a near mirror image of the first game, Calhoun’s girls took advantage of an overmatched Lady Panthers.

    Like Jacobs, Qualls picked up two strikeouts of her own in the top half of the first.

    Another relentless first inning saw East lay down the lumber, burning up the score boards for 10 runs as Qualls picked up a moon shot homerun to put a cherry on an impressive display of batting.

    Following the game, Qualls said it was a great feeling to put one over the fence.

    “It was the pitch I wanted to see and I just took my best swing at it,” Qualls said. “I am happy about the homerun, but the important thing is we won both games tonight, and I hope we can keep the momentum going.”

    Qualls continued to put together a consistent all-around game.

    Three-straight strikeouts by Qualls in the top of the second gave Augusta’s girls images of a long bus ride home, with little hopes for a comeback.

    Another nine runs were scored by the East Carter lineup, including a triple by Hall and double for Shayla Greer.

    Mercy once again set in after the third inning, ending the night with another East Carter victory to push its record to 6-1 on the year.

    Calhoun said his team’s quick success on the season is somewhat bittersweet.

    “This wasn’t something I think myself or our team expected so early in the season,” Calhoun said. “We have always believed in our group, but when you can pick up big wins early in the year it is definitely a positive for your ball club.”

    Following the win, the Lady Raiders stayed at home for a rematch with Rowan County last night after press time.

    We will have more on this game in next week’s Journal-Times sports.

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

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