Lady Dragons defeat Bell to end five-year tourney drought


Jon Dickenson

Harlan’s Mallory McNiel, pictured in action earlier this season, was the winner on Monday as the Lady Dragons downed Bell County 9-6 on Monday in the 52nd District Tournament.

After a heartbreaking loss to Middlesboro in last year’s first round, the Harlan Lady Dragons broke through Monday to knock off top-seeded Bell County 9-6 in a first-round game at Bell County. It was the first tournament win for the Lady Dragons since 2018
Like several games this year, Harlan grabbed an early lead at 6-0 midway through the third inning. This time, however, the Lady Dragons were able to hang on even though Bell scored two runs in the sixth and seventh innings and had the bases loaded when the game ended.
Addison Jackson led Harlan’s 11-hit attack with two doubles and a single for three RBI. Abbi Fields and Ella Farley had two hits each. Ava Nunez, Mallory McNiel and Ella Lisenbee added one hit each. Lisenbee drove in three runs and scored three.
McNiel pitched a complete game, giving up six runs on eight this with five strikeouts and four walks.
Mataya Ausmus and Kylee.Greer-Gann led the 16-8 Lady Cats. Ausmus had three hits and two RBI, while Greer-Gann added two hits and three RBI. Addison Maiden, Jordan Muncy and Kenley Foster added one hit each.
Ausmus pitched a complete game, giving up nine runs on 11 hits with 12 strikeouts and four walks.
The 6-19 Lady Dragons play Middlesboro on Tuesday at 6 p.m. in the district finals.
Middlesboro edged Harlan County 5-4 in eight innings in the second game.
Kennedy Yoakum led the Lady Jackets with four singles in four at bats. Keevi Betts added two singles. Madison Bruce and Raehgan Moyers added one single each.
Kenna Lawson started in the circle and gave up one run on three hits with one strikeout. Kenna Lawson allowed three runs on seven hits with 10 strikeouts and one walk in six innings.
Madison Blair and Halle Raleigh each had two hits for the 16-15 Lady Bears. Halanah Shepherd added a double. Hailey Austin, Brittleigh Estep, Jade Burton and Rylie Maggard added one single each.
Blair gave up five runs (two earned) in eight innings with five strikeouts and two walks.
Harlan 203 103 0 — 9. 11. 0
Bell County 000 202 2 — 6. 8. 1
McNiel and Jackson; Ausmus and Helton. WP — McNiel (5-13). LP — Ausmus.