A big road win over Southwestern Friday evening gives the Lady Raiders an early leg up in the 48th District standings, and a lot of positive vibes that they parleyed into follow-up wins over Scott County and Jellico this week.
Against the Lady Warriors Friday the Lady Raiders jumped to an early lead, then added on some crucial insurance runs in the late innings to preserve the 5-3 win.
In the top of the first Reagan Kidd reached on a walk, followed by a Cammie Gilreath single. Macey Welchel delivered on a one-out double to right to drive in both runs and give McCreary a 2-0 lead.
The Lady Raiders made it 3-0 in the top of the fifth after Kidd reached on a double and scored on a Welchel single up the middle.
Kayli West led off the top of the sixth by reaching on a walk, followed one batter later with Grace Jones reaching on a catcher interference call. The runners would score thanks to a pair of two-out hits from Ally Anderson and Kidd for a commanding 5-0 advantage.
On the mound Welchel was strong as well, allowing only three hits over the first five innings before the Lady Warriors tried to rally in their last two at-bats. In the bottom of the sixth Southwestern’s Emory Wilds started off with a lead-off hit, but was erased at the plate on an outfield assist from Cyndol Kiser on a Madison Cook single.
Cook would score two batters later, but Southwestern stranded two more on base after Welchel struck out Katelyn Connolly to end the inning to preserve a 5-1 McCreary lead.
Southwestern rallied again in the last at-bat, starting off with three hits and a walk, eventually pushing two runs across the plate, but Welchel struck out the final batter for her 8th K of the game and giving McCreary the 5-3 win and the top ranking in the District for the time being with a 1-0 record.
The Lady Raiders kept the momentum going Monday with a 7-1 victory over Scott County.
McCreary sent 9 batters to the plate in a 5-run second inning, with six of the last seven batters reaching safely with two outs.
Strong defense backed Welchel on the mound as the Lady Raiders made several good plays on the field every time Scott seemed to threaten to score.
The only blemish on the game came in the top of the third when the Lady Highlanders scored their lone run with a one-out double, and two-out single.
A 15-0 win over Jellico Tuesday marked the Lady Raiders’ 4th win in a row.
With the wins the Lady Raiders’ record improved to 10-9.
McCreary Central has a busy schedule ahead, with six games over the next six days.
McCreary hosts Oneida Thursday and Southwestern Friday, then will play in he Sports Den Round Robin at Wayne County Saturday. They will play Clarkrange and Picket County in those games. On Monday they travel to Whitley County, and return home Tuesday to host Russell County.