Just two days after a relatively easy 10-0 win over Oneida, where Kaylee Cotton threw a one-hitter, the Lady Raiders found themselves in a more challenging contest Monday against Corbin.
Despite jumping out to a 5-0 lead over the first two innings, McCreary had to dig deep and hold off a determined Lady Redhound rally to hold on to a 6-5 win.
The Lady Raiders were clinging to the one-run lead in the top of the seventh when Corbin threatened by putting their first two runners on base with no one out. Cotton struck out the next batter she faced, her eighth of the game, but the go-ahead run was still on base.
The next batter hit a sharp grounder to Makayla Chesnut at second, who fielded the ball cleanly and flipped it to shortstop Cierra Terry. Terry stepped on the bag for the force out, then threw straight and true to Hayley Jones at first to get the out a step ahead of the batter to end the game with a nifty 4-6-3 double play.
McCreary jumped ahead early, plating four runs in the bottom of the first inning. Cammie Gilreath led off the frame with a walk, followed by a Terry single. Cotton’s base hit to center scored Gilreath, and both runners would later score on wild pitches.
With two outs Cyndol Kiser rapped a single to right and would score on a Chestnut base-hit in the next at-bat for a 4-0 McCreary lead.
In the bottom of the second, Gilreath plated the fifth run of the game after reaching on a walk, stealing second and scoring on a Cotton single to right.
Corbin tightened the game up in the top of the third with a three-run home run to center field, cutting McCreary’s lead down to 2, 5-3.
The Lady Redhounds crept closer in the fourth, adding one run on an error and two singles, but McCreary escaped without allowing further damage.
Gilreah scored her third run of the game in the bottom of the inning after reaching on a one-out error, and crossing the plate on a Cotton double, giving McCreary an insurance run, which was needed.
Trailing 6-4 in the top of the sixth, Corbin added a run off two hits, cutting McCreary’s lead back to one.
In the Lady Raiders’ half of the frame they had a chance to put more distance between them and the Redhounds after singles from Kayli West and Terry, but both runners would be stranded in scoring position after a nice defensive play from Corbin.
Corbin’s final chance came in the seventh when the lead-off batter reached on a single to center. The next batter hit a grounder to the hole at second, which was fielded by Chestnut, but the relay throw to second was not in time for the force-out, putting runners on first and second with no outs. Cotton’s strike out, and the game ending double play sealed the win for McCreary, their fourth in their first five games.
The Lady Raiders extended their winning ways Tuesday with a 4-3 win over Scott County for a 5-1 record to start the season.
McCreary travels to Pulaski County Thursday, then returns home to host Oneida on Saturday afternoon (1:00 start) and Scott County on Tuesday.