Lady Bears close regular season with victory over Leslie

By John Henson, Managing Editor

The Harlan County Lady Bears warmed up for the postseason with a dominating 15-0 three-inning win Friday over visiting Leslie County to close the regular season.
Madison Blair and Brittleigh Estep each had a double and single to lead Harlan County’s nine-hit attack. Jenna Wilson singled twice. Jade Burton, Lesleigh Brown and Rylie Maggard added one single each.
“This was a good way to get started going into the district tournament,” Harlan County coach Shelby Burton said. “We’ve been waiting for it to come together, and I feel good about where we’re at right now. We’ve had a lot of growing pains, but I think we’re a different team than when we started and I’m excited about what they can accomplish this year.”
Blair pitched a one-hitter with three strikeouts and no walks.
“Maddy is pitching as well as she has all season and that’s great for us going into the postseason,” Burton said. “She works hard. She comes in day in and day out and does the work.”
Blair, Willson and Estep had hits in the opening inning as HCHS took a 2-0 lead.
Wilson singled home two runs and Estep brought home two with a double as the Lady Bears extended their advantage to 6-0 after two innings.
Leslie pitchers walked seven Lady Bears and hit another in a nine-run third inning that ended the game.
Gabby Ostrander hâd the only hit for the 6-21 Lady Eagles,
The 11-20 Lady Bears play Bell County on Tuesday in the 52nd District Tournament at Middlesboro.
Leslie County 000 — 0. 1. 2
Harlan County 249 — 15. 9. 1
L. Turner, Jones (3), Ostrander (3) and P. Turner; Blair and Burton. WP — Blair (8-14). LP — L. Turner.
Harlan County suffered a 3-1 loss Thursday at Pineville as the Lady Lions rallied with a three-run sixth inning.
Rachel Howard pitched a two-hitter for Pineville with 18 strikeouts and one walk.
Lesleigh Brown singled and scored on Jenna Wilson’s triple for the only two HCHS hits.
Makennah Johnson and Alyssa Nicely teamed on a one-hitter as Letcher Central defeated visiting Harlan 16-0 in four innings on Thursday.
Ella Lisenbee had a single for the only Harlan hit and also stole two bases.
Carley Thomas started in the circle for Harlan and gave up nine runs (six earned) on 10 hits with four strikeouts and two walks in 2 2/3 innings. Lisenbee gave up five runs on two hits as she recorded the final out,
The 5-21 Lady Dragons play Middlesboro on Tuesday at 7:30 in the first round of the 52nd District Tournament at Middlesboro.