Raleigh’s hit caps comeback in Lady Bears’ walk-off win over Middlesboro


Chris Jones

Harlan County’s Jenna WIlson knocked down a throw as Middlesboro’s Kylee Lawson took second in Tuesday’s district clash. The Lady Bears scored six runs in the seventh inning to rally for an 8-7 win.

By John Henson, Managing Editor

Six straight batters came to the plate for the Harlan County Lady Bears as they were down to their last out Tuesday against visiting Middlesboro.
Six straight delivered.
Four hits and two Middlesboro errors set the stage for Halle Raleigh’s game-winning hit to send the Lady Bears to an 8-7 victory. It was the second straight 8-7 win for the Lady Bears over Middlesboro, who rallied from a 6-0 deficit at Middlesboro earlier in the season.
“I feel these girls play well under pressure. We’ve played a tough schedule this year,” Harlan County coach Shelby Burton said. “We had some girls come through for us this year. Halle has come through with some big hits in big games, I have a lot of faith in her.”
Down 7-2 going into the bottom of the seventh, Raleigh opened the inning with a single and scored on Madison Blair’s hit. With two outs, Jenna Wilson, Lesleigh Brown and Halanah Shepherd followed with consecutive hits as the deficit was cut to 7-5. Jade Burton hit a ground ball to third that was misplayed for an error. Brittleigh Estep then hit a ground ball back to pitcher Kenna Lawson, but her throw to first was off line to allow two runs to come home and tie the game. Raleigh followed with her second hit of the inning, a line drive into right field to win the game.
Raleigh, Blair, Wilson, Brown and Estep each had two hits for the Lady Bears. Shepherd, Burton and Rylie Maggard added one hit each.
Blair earned the win as she allowed seven runs on 11 hits while striking out eight and walking none.
Lawson gave up eight runs on 13 hits with one strikeout and no walks.
Sophomore catcher Alexis Middleton led the Lady Jackets with a triple and two doubles. Macy Bruce had a double and single. Kaylee Lawson singled twice. Kenna Lawson and Madison Bruce each.added a double. Raehgan Moyers had a single.
The Lady Bears were able to win despite an ugly night on the base paths. One HCHS runner was called out for not tagging up at second base on a fly ball to center. Another failed to score from second after getting a late start on a two-out hit to center. Another runner was thrown out by a wide margin at third after trying to advance from first on a hit.
“We’re still very young, but if want to take our game to the next level we have to get our base running cleaned up,” Burton said.
Middlesboro scored single runs in five straight innings — two through six — then added two in the seventh to build a five-run lead.
Middleton and Lawson had back-to-back doubles in the second for a 1-0 lead. Macy Bruce singled home a run in the third after Keevi Betts reached on an error. Middleton tripled to lead off the fourth and scored on a ground out by Moyers. Madison Bruce doubled to start the fifth inning and eventually scored. Middleton doubled in the sixth inning and scored on Moyers’ hit. Macy Bruce closed the Lady Jackets’ scoring with a two-run double in the seventh.
After being held scoreless through the first four innings, the Lady Bears finally started to find their timing against Lawson. Estep singled to start the fifth and scored the first run for HCHS on Blair’s ground out. Brown, Burton and Estep had hits for a run in the sixth before the Lady Bears ran themselves out of a potential big inning.
Harlan County (12-10) will play host to Clay County on Thursday. Middlesboro (11-11) will be at home against Harlan on Wednesday.
Middlesboro 011 111 2 — 7. 11. 5
Harlan County 000 011 6 — 8. 13. 2
Kenna Lawson and Middleton; Blair and Burton. WP — Blair (10-8). LP — Lawson.