One bad inning ruined the Lady Raiders’ chances at upsetting one of the top teams in the 12th Region – the Lady Rockets of Rockcastle County Monday night.
The Rockets had entered the game with 22 wins and only 7 losses on the season, but the Raiders stood toe-to-toe for the first few innings.
Rockcastle took an early lead, scoring twice in the top of the first after a walk, triple and single to take a 2-0 lead.
McCreary answered back in their half of the frame, to cut the lead in half.
Reagan Kidd started off with a 2-out single to left, and scored one batter later on a Macey Welchel double to right. Following a walk to Shadonna Boyatt Cyndol Kiser hit a hard line-drive that would have scored at least the tying run, but the Rockets’ shortstop made a great play on the ball – snagging it out of the air.
Welchel handled Rockcastle in the second and third, allowing only a single runner in each inning, but McCreary’s bats were held in check by the Rockets’ hurler Bailey Chasteen as well.
The Lady Raiders hit a rough spot in the top of the fourth.
A lead off walk was erased when the runner was caught stealing, but the Lady Rockets loaded the bases on an error, bunt single and walk. A base on balls forced in the first run of the inning followed by another error on a fly ball to the outfield plated the next run. Welchel’s third walk of the frame scored another run for Rockcastle, then a misplayed grounder to the outfield drove in three runs. A single drove in the final score of the inning before McCreary escaped, trailing 9-1.
After the first inning Chasteen settled in, allowing only three more runners to reach base, all via walk, over the next five innings while striking out six.
The Lady Rockets put the game away in the sixth, scoring three times on three hits and two errors for the 12-1 win.
The loss came on the heels of a disappointing 10-3 loss to Wayne County Friday afternoon.
Though the game did not have any impact on the District standings, a Lady Raider win would have given the team a boost of confidence headed in to the District Tournament as the two teams will face off in the opening round.
Wayne took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first after a pair of walks and a double, but McCreary responded in the bottom half of the inning to tie the game 2-2 after back-to back doubles from Ally Anderson and Cammie Gilreath plus a Boyatt single,.
Wayne County would tack on a pair of runs in the third and fourth, plus a solo run in the fifth before finally scoring three in the top of the sixth.
The Lady Raiders had several opportunities to come back – getting runners on base in every inning except the fifth – including loading the bases in the third, but only managed to push one more run across the plate.
Kayli West led off the bottom of the sixth with a triple and scored on a Gilreath sacrifice fly, but that was about the end of the McCreary offense for the game.
With only five scheduled games in the regular season, the Lady Raiders record stands at 14-14.
Thursday they travel to Williamsburg; Friday they host Clinton County, on Monday Cumberland County comes to town for Senior Night; Tuesday they travel to Clinton and they will close out the season next Friday at Rockcastle.