Lady Bears open softball season by winning four of five

Published 6:23 pm Monday, March 27, 2023

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 By Paul Lunsford

Contributing Writer

Harlan County softball coach Shelby Burton has to be pleased with the first four games of the young season.

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The Lady Bears opened the season with a 5-3 win at home against Pineville on March 16.

Sophomore Jade Burton led HC with a triple. Lesleigh Brock, Halle Raleigh and Jenna Wilson each singled once.

Sophomore Madison Blair pitched a complete game for the Lady Bears. She fanned six and walked one.

Blair recorded ten strikeouts and walked one as visiting Harlan County beat Cumberland Gap (Tenn.) 5-1.

Raleigh, a sophomore, had a home run and a single to lead the Lady Bears. Freshman Halanah Shepherd followed with three singles. Brown and Hailey Austin each singled twice. Burton doubled. Blair, Brittleigh Estep and Wilson had one single apiece.

Blair and Estep combined on a five-hitter as HC rolled over visiting Knox Central 11-4 on March 20.

The Lady Bears collected 13 hits. Blair, a sophomore, led the way with a double and two singles. Austin, a senior, followed with three singles. Burton doubled and singled, while Brown singled twice. Estep added a double. Rylie Maggard and Wilson each singled once.

Harlan County hosted Whitley County on March 21 and claimed an 8-5 victory.

Estep, Maggard and Shepherd each singled twice to lead the Lady Bears. Brown added a double while Blair, Brown and Raleigh each singled once.

Harlan County suffered a 2-1 loss at Clay County on Thursday.

Sophomore Abby Bowling had six strikeouts and scattered six hits for the Lady Tigers.

Freshman Holly Jackson led Clay County with three singles.

Blair and Brown each singled twice for the Lady Bears. Austin and Shepherd each added one single.

Harlan County (4-1) will travel to Middlesboro (4-2) on Tuesday.

The Lady Bears will host Letcher Central on Thursday before visiting South Laurel on Friday.

Harlan County will participate in the Cal Ripken Experience in Myrtle Beach (S.C.) beginning Sunday through April 8.