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Creech’s 2-hitter sends HCHS past Harlan

In her first start against Harlan a little over a month ago, Harlan County sophomore Kerrigan Creech pitched a no-hitter in a 15-0 win. She was almost as good the second time around with a two-hitter that included eight strikeouts and no walks in a 10-0 six-inning victory.

“Kerrigan has surprised me at the plate this year, but she has also been very good on the mound and maybe even a bigger surprise there. She had command of her screwball and changeup today,” Harlan County coach Tim McElyea said. “When she has that going, she can be very tough.”

The Lady Bears improved to 11-4 overall and clinched the second seed in next month’s 52nd District Tournament with a 4-2 mark.

“We lost 10 players and seven starters to graduation and various reasons,” McElyea said. “We have to improve on a lot of stuff, but we’re pretty happy to be 11-4 at this point when you consider what we lost.”

Nikki Creech led Harlan County’s 12-hit attack with two doubles and a single for three RBI. Hannah Johnson added a double and single. Brandy Adams singled twice. Allee Galloway had a double. Emily Collett, Kerrigan Creech, Emily Evans, Rhileigh Alred and Destiny Clark added one single each.

“You want to have a lot of people contributing this time of year,” McElyea said.

Makayla Sizemore and Haven Saylor each had singles for the Lady Dragons.

Payton Bennett pitched a complete game with two strikeouts and three walks

Nikki Creech led off the game with a double to left and scored on Johnson’s rocket off Saylor at shortstop. Adams also singled, but Bennett worked out of trouble with a strikeout and groundout.

Galloway walked to open the second inning and Clark singled. Nikki Creech doubled in two runs, then scored on Adams’ fielder’s choice grounder to short.

Evans led off the third inning with a single, moved to second on an error and scored on Alred’s bunt single. Creech ripped an RBI double down the line in left to push the lead to 6-0.

Johnson walked to open the fourth, moved to third on Adams’ single and scored on Kerrigan Creech’s ground out. Jacey Lewis, a courtesy runner, scored the second run of the inning on Evans’ sacrifice bunt.

A double by Johnson started the sixth inning. She scored on Kerrigan Creech’s single into left. The game ended via the 10-run mercy rule on an error.

Harlan lost 11-0 to Lynn Camp on April 22 and 17-2 to Middlesboro on April 27 in previously unreported action.

Harlan County (11-4) plays in a tournament this weekend in Hazard. Harlan (4-9) plays host to Williamsburg on Tuesday.

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Harlan 000 000 — 0. 2. 2

Harlan County 132 202 — 10. 13. 2

Bennett and Cornett; K. Creech and Adams. WP — K. Creech (10-4). LP — Bennett (4-9).