Lady Bears sweep pool at Ozz tourney

Published 1:45 pm Saturday, April 21, 2018

WHITESBURG — Dorothy went to see the Wizard of Oz hoping to get back home to Kansas. The Tin Man wanted a heart, the Scarecrow wanted a brain. The Harlan County Lady Bears traveled to the Wizard of Ozz Classic (named in honor of former Letcher Central athletic director Ozz Jackson) to find their offense.

After three games and three wins, it appears the Lady Bears accomplished their goal.

Harlan County moved into the tournament finals by sweeping its pool, finishing with an 8-5 win over Belfry on Saturday morning at Letcher Central High School.

The Lady Bears collected nine hits in the win, led by Destinee Jenkins and Hannah Johnson with a double and single each and standout freshman second baseman Brandy Adams with two singles. Lainey Cox and Regan Caudill each contributed doubles. Emily Collett added a single.

“I was glad to see us hit the ball pretty well over here, especially against a lefty,” Harlan County coach Tim McElyea said. “We need to tighten up our defense some, but our bats are finally coming through.”

Jenkins earned the win on the mound as she pitched a complete game with five strikeouts and two walks.

Taylor Maynard led Belfry with a double and two singles. Kailee Rash pitched a complete for the Lady Pirates.

The Lady Bears grabbed an early lead when Jenkins walked in the first inning and courtesy runner Destiny Clark came home on Johnson’s double to center.

Belfry pulled even in the bottom of the inning on a double by Maynard followed by an error on Jenkins.

HCHS exploded for seven runs in the second inning. Adams walked and Cox doubled to open the inning before Collett brought in the first run with a bunt single. Caudill was safe on an error for another run and Nikki Creech brought in a run with a ground out to third. Jenkins doubled in one run and Johnson singled home one. After Long was hit by a pitch, Adams ripped a two-run double to center for and 8-1 lead.

Belfry scored a run in the fifth on a sacrifice fly by Kayln Christian that appeared to be a double play because the runner left to early on a ball that shortstop Emily Collett deflected to Creech in center that she caught and threw to Johnson at third. The Lady Bears got their double play against the next hitter when Jenkins fielded a ground ball and threw to Johnson at third for one and then Johnson went to Adams at second for two.

Belfry (12-8) scored three runs in the sixth to make it interesting with the help of two HCHS errors.

Harlan County (8-4) opened the tournament with two wins Thursday, 4-3 over Pikeville in a game HCHS won on a coin toss when the time limit was reached and 14-2 over Central (Wise, Va.)

The Lady Bears had only two hits against Pikeville, an RBI double by Jenkins and an RBI bunt single by Creech.

Jenkins struck out three and walked four to earn the win.

Long led the HCHS offense with two doubles and a single. Creech and Russell each had a double and two singles. Johnosn added a double and single. Jenkins contributed two singles. Adams and T.C. Somersal had one double each.

Harlan County travels to Claiborne, Tenn., on Monday.


Harlan County 170 000 — 8 9 3

Belfry 100 013 — 5 9 2

Jenkins and Long; Rush and Maynard. WP — Jenkins (8-4). LP — Rush.


Harlan County 003 001 — 4 2 1

Pikeville 000 030 — 3 9 2

Jenkins, Russell (3), Jenkins (3), Russell (5), Jenkins (5) and Long; Akers, Ford (4) and Smith. WP — Jenkins (7-4). LP — Ford


Harlan County 562 0 — 14 15 3

Central (Va.) 101 0 — 2 3 2

Jenkins, K. Creech (4) and Long; Mullins and Porter. WP — Jenkins (6-4). LP — Mullins.