Fillies win Bash on Hilltop

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By Lee Kendall

The Harrison County Fillies softball team swept three games and took the title in their own Edwardo’s Pizza/Harrison County Spring Bash at Shirley Field last weekend.

The three wins in that tournament stretched Harrison County’s winning streak to five straight games and improved its season record to 6-2.

“We finally capitalized on the mistakes that our opponents made and that made a big difference,” said Harrison County coach Christine Garnett. “We are starting to hit the ball a little better and our defense and pitching have been pretty solid as well.”

Harrison County opened the tournament with a 10-3 win over Owen County on Friday night. Kaitlyn Shepherd pounded her first career home run in the first inning of the win over Owen County, a three-run shot in the first inning.

Charley Hatfield had a two-run double in the second inning as Harrison County opened up a 8-0 lead. Ashley Coppage pitched six innings and allowed six hits to gain her first career varsity win. She struck out four and didn’t walk a batter.

 In their second game on Saturday morning, Harrison County defeated a talented Lawrence County squad, 6-2.

The game was dominated by stellar pitching for the first three innings, until Harrison County tallied three times in the fourth inning to take the lead.

In the fourth, the Hatfield girls led off by reaching base…Rachel reaching on an error and Charley on a fielder’s choice ground ball.

“That was a key play in the game,” said Garnett of the ground ball that seemed like an easy out for Lawrence County. “Rachel made a great hustle play to slide into second and beat the throw. That was definitely the play that gave us the momentum.”

After a series of bunts and defensive miscues by Lawrence County, Harrison County had built a 3-0 lead.

Lawrence County scored twice in the top of the fifth to narrow the gap, but Harrison County bounced back with three more runs in the bottom of the fifth to pull away for good.

With two on and two out, Charley Hatfield singled and Tracey Hicks walked to  score one run. Shepherd followed with a two-run double to make the score 6-2.

Tracey Hicks started on the mound for the Fillies and had an outstanding game. The freshman hurler went seven innings, struck out 10, walked three and allowed only five hits and no earned runs.

“Kaitlyn delivered in the clutch with that double and Tracey pitched a great game against a team that was ranked in the state last year,” said Garnett. “That should give both those girls a lot of confidence from here on out.”

In the championship game on Saturday night, Harrison County edged Walton Verona, 3-1.

The Fillies scored first in the home half of the first inning. Hicks doubled, scoring both Hatfield girls to give Harrison County a 2-0 lead.

Harrison County extended its lead to 3-0 with a run in the third inning. Rachel Hatfield doubled to score Michelle Carson, who had led off the inning with a double.

Walton tallied its lone run in the fifth inning, but was stifled by solid defense and pitching from Harrison County. Ashley Coppage pitched the first five innings to get the win for the Fillies. Hicks came on in the sixth and seventh innings to shut down Walton and earn the save.

“I’m really happy for the girls that they were able to step up and make big plays when they were needed,” said Garnett. “Hopefully winning this tournament will give us some momentum heading into the rest of the schedule.”

Harrison County returns to the field tonight traveling to Winchester to take on 15th ranked GRC. This weekend, Harrison County will travel to Brooksville to play in the Bracken County/Webbers Farms Classic.

Next week, the Fillies have a pair of road games. They travel to Bracken County on April 13 and go to Nicholas County on April 16.