Lady Bears overcome 8-run deficit to edge Leslie County

By John Henson, Managing Editor

Down 9-1 midway through the sixth inning Tuesday against visiting Leslie Country, the Harlan County Lady Bears had the look of a beaten team.
The Lady Bears sent 10 hitters in the plate in the sixth inning to score six runs, then completed the comeback with a three-run seventh to claim a 10-9 walkoff victory.
“The good thing about it is they have some fight in them, and I will take that right now,” Harlan County coach Tim McElyea said. “That was a team effort there at the end with so many of our girls coming through when we had to have them.”
Senior catcher Brandy Adams again led the Harlan County offense with four singles, including the game-winner with the game tied in the seventh. Brenna Early added two singles. Brittleigh Estep had a double. Jacey Lewis, Hailey Austin and Allee Galloway added one single each.
Kerrigan Creech earned the win, giving up eight runs in six innings, with nine strikeouts and one walk. Eighth-grader Maddie Blair came on get the Lady Bears out of trouble in the sixth inning with Creech tiring. She allowed one run on two walks.
“I though Maddie came in and gave us a big inning,” McElyea said.
The Lady Bears gave up nine unanswered runs with the help of six errors.
“It was the little things — a fly ball here or not backing up a base,” McElyea said. “It was ridiculous, then your pitcher gets frustrated and a little tired. I know we can hit the ball a little bit, but defensively we have to tighten some things up. We were talking routine plays.”
Kenzie Morgan led Leslie County with a triple and single. Katie Morgan had a double and single. Macy Fee, Kaidisyn Napier and Emma Gay had one single each.
HCHS loaded the bases with one out in the sixth to start the comeback before Lewis cleared the bases when he line drive to center was dropped for an error. Adams singled in a run and Estep doubled in one and another scored on error as the deficit was cut to 9-7.
Early and Josalyn Lee drew walks to open the seventh, then Blair brought in a run with a ground out to third base. Lewis tied the game with her RBI single, Then Austin drew a walk to set up Adams’ game-winning hit.
Harlan County rolled to a 16-2 win in the second game of the nightcap. Adams hit a homer and a double in a game that was called after three innings. Lewis had three hits. Creech, Early, Estep and Day added two hits each. Austin contributed one hit
Harlan County (5-1) travels to Harlan on Thursday.
Leslie County 000 153 0 — 9. 7. 2
Harlan County 001 006 3 — 10. 10. 6
Davidson and Morgan; Creech, Blair (6), Creech (7) and Adams. WP — Creech (5-2). LP — Davidson.
Harlan County 12(13) — 16. 14. 2
Leslie County 101 — 2 5. 5
Creech and Adams; Turner and Morgan. WP — Creech (6-1). LP — Turner.


Hailey Austin pounded out three hits, including a first-inning triple when the Lady Bears scored five times, to lead the HCHS offense in a 13-5 win over Bell County. Brandy Adams hit a two-run homer in the fifth inning. Allee Galloway and Jade Burton each had two hits. Jacey Lewis, Emily Day, Brittleigh Maggard, Brenna Early, Kerrigan Creech and Maddie Blair each added one hit.
Creech pitched a six-hitter with five strikeouts and four walks to earn the win.
Harlan County 510 124 0 — 13. 14. 5
Bell County 410 000 0 — 5. 6. 6
Creech and Adams; Ausmus and Muncy. WP — Creech. LP — Ausmus. HR — HCHS (Adams 1).