MIDDLESBORO — Kacie Russell won one game with her bat and another with her arm as the Harlan County Lady Bears claimed a pair of victories at the Bill Joe Idol Memorial Tournament on Saturday afternoon before falling to tournament host Middlesboro in the final game of the day.
Harlan County had to rally for a win in the opening game, scoring two runs in the bottom of the seventh inning on Russell’s two-out double to edge Lee, Va., 5-4. Farren Clark beat out a bunt single with one out and Nikki Creech followed with a single. After Destinee Jenkins lined out back to the pitcher, Russell ripped the game-winning double to left.
Creech led the Harlan County offense with two doubles and a single. Russell had two doubles. Clark, Jenkins, Tia King, Haley Blakley, Kate Evans and Lainey Cox added one single each.
Russell pitched a five-hitter in the second game, keeping Williamsburg batters off balance with a very effective changeup. She struck out 12 and walked none.
“She located the ball real well, and her changeup was unreal,” Harlan County coach Tim McElyea said. “She worked both corners of the plate and did a great job.
“Beating Lee was a big win for us, and Williamsburg is a pretty good team.”
Jenkins had a big game at the plate for the Lady Bears with a two-run homer and a single. Blakley, Autumn Dunaway, Emily Long and Tia King added one single each.
Kelsey Tye pitched a strong game for Williamsburg. She gave up six hits but was unable to overcome four errors. Tye also led Williamsburg at the plate with two singles. Kayla Gibson, Hailey Richardson and Caitlynn Prewitt added one single each.
Tye held HCHS without a hit the first two innings before Long singled to open the third inning. Farren Clark walked and Creech was safe on an error as the Lady Bears took a 2-0 lead. Jenkins hit a blast over the fence in right-center to double the HCHS advantage with one swing.
Dunaway singled to open the fourth inning, and King followed with a hit one out later. Clark’s ground out brought in one run and a wild pitch allowed courtesy runner Mikalyn Foutch to come with Harlan County’s final run.
Lee, Va. 220 000 0 — 4 5 0
Harlan County 300 000 2 — 5 11 1
Manis, Davis (4) and Tritt; Jenkins and King. WP — Jenkins (11-2). LP — Davis.
Williamsburg 000 000 0 — 0 5 4
Harlan County 004 200 x — 6 6 0
K. Tye and L. Prewitt; Russell and Long, King (4). WP — Russell (3-1). LP — K. Tye. HR – Jenkins (2).
Reach John Henson at 606-909-4134