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Lady Raiders bats power past Wayne County


A 5-run first inning proved to be enough to propel the Lady Raiders to a 9-4 win over Wayne County Tuesday night, guaranteeing McCreary the second seed in the upcoming 48th District Tournament.

The Lady Cardinals made the game closer than the score indicates, plating three runs in the bottom of the third and a solo run in the fourth to close to within one-run of the lead.

But a four-run seventh, highlighted by a 3-run blast from Macey Welchel put the game out of reach for Wayne.

The Lady Raiders jumped over Wayne County starting pitcher Kelsey Marcum, as five of the first six batters reached – all on doubles. Ally Anderson led off with a double to left, then scored on a Cammie Gilreath two-bagger to right. One-out Welchel’s double to right scored Gilreath, then Shadonna Boyatt kept things rolling with a shot to left. Cyndol Kiser’s double to deep center plated Boyatt and forced Wayne County to make a pitching change – bringing in Alexa Turner to try and end the rally. Turner struck out the first batter she faced, but gave up a run-scoring single to Grace Jones before the Cardinals got out of the inning, trailing 5-0.

On the mound Welchel mowed down Wayne County over the first two innings; striking out 5 and only allowing one runner to reach with a base-on-balls, but the Cardinals broke free in the third.

A lead-off walk would come home to score on a 2-out single, followed by a throwing error and another base-hit to close to 5-3.

In the fourth the Cardinals would again put the lead-off runner on base, and collected a run on an infield ground out.

Welchel locked Wayne County down over the final three innings, retiring nine batters in a row, four by strike out.

After their 9-batter first, McCreary’s bats went quiet over the next five innings; collecting only four hits over that span.

Clinging to a scant one-run lead, the Lady Raiders’ offense struck again in the top of the seventh, sending 9-batters to the plate in a 4-run outburst.

Anderson led off with a walk, and Gilreath reached safely on a throwing error on a sacrifice bunt attempt, putting runners at the corners. Reagan Kidd’s single to left scored the first insurance run, but Welchel put an exclamation point on the night with a no-doubt 3-run homer to left field that not only cleared the fence, but hit off the roof of a playground structure beyond the playing field.

The win improved McCreary’s record to 14-12 and 2-1 in the District, locking up the second seed. McCreary will face Wayne County (13-10, 0-3) in the opening round of the District Tournament, with the winner advancing to play Southwestern. The Lady Warriors, 3-1 in the District, hold the tie -breaker over McCreary for the top seed.

The Lady Raiders play their next four games at home: Thursday vs. Williamsburg, Friday vs. Wayne County, Monday vs. Rockcastle and Tuesday against Lincoln County.

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