Lady Bears roll past Knox Central

Published 10:05 pm Saturday, May 19, 2018

Playing their final game at home, a six-girl Harlan County senior class came up big Friday in the Lady Bears’ 11-1 win over visiting Knox Central to close the regular season.

Destinee Jenkins, Kacie Russell, Lainey Cox, Regan Caudill, Taylor Johnson and Shawnee Cress played their last home games and several played big roles in the win. Russell earned the win on the mound as she gave up only one hit while striking out three and walking three in 3 1/3 shutout innings.

Hannah Johnson, a sophomore third baseman, led the HCHS offense with two doubles, a single and an RBI groundnut. Caudill and Jenkins each had a double and single. Johnson and Nikki Creech had two singles each. Cox had a triple. Russell and Emily Long added singles.

“We hit the ball well tonight and it was kind of an emotional night for our seniors. I hate to see them go. I’ve been around Des (Jenkins) since the seventh grade. They’ve all played big roles in our success,” Harlan County coach Tim McElyea said. “Taylor Johnson got a couple of hits. Kacie pitched three scoreless innings. Regan (Caudill) also hit it well tonight.”

Knox Central scored first as Jenkins struggled with control early, walking and hitting three to force in a run before Russell came in to record the final out of the inning.

Creech beat out a bunt single to open the bottom of the first, then stole second and scored on Russell’s hit. Johnson followed with a double, and Destiny Clark came in to score when the ball was misplayed in the outfield.

Jenkins, had an RBI double and Johnson and Long each added RBI singles in the second inning as the lead grew to 6-1 after two innings.

Caudill doubled in the third inning and scored the Lady Bears’ only run in the third inning on a single by Johnson.

Johnson had another rocket double to left in the fourth inning and scored on Cox’s triple to right. Johnson singled home Cox for a 9-1 lead.

Creech walked and Jenkins singled to open the fifth inning. Russell and Johnson each had RBI groundouts to end the game via the 10-run mercy rule.

Harlan County will play Bell County on Monday at 6 p.m. in the first round of the 52nd District Tournament at Bell County.

“I think we’re right in the middle of (the region) again,” McElyea said. “I think we’ve got a shot. I hope we can beat Bell and get in the region and see what happens. This could be our year.”


Knox Central 100 00 — 1 1 2

Harlan County 241 22 — 11 14 1

Partin and Hale; Jenkins, Russell (2), Jenkins (5) and Long. WP — Russell (3-0). LP — Partin.