After claiming a three-run lead at the top of the first, the Lady Lions’ failed to produce any offense throughout the remainder of Monday’s game as Pineville lost to Lynn Camp 14-3 in the opening round of the 51st District tournament.
With the loss, the Lady Lions’ season comes to an end. They rounded out the year with a 4-11 record while picking up two district victories.
“All year long we kind of battled with a lot of young girls. We lost a lot of girls last year, so it was hard to fill…five starters this year,” said Pineville coach Shari Knuckles. “That made a big difference in your season. In other stuff you might get by with that, but in softball it’s a total wipeout for you when you lose five starters.”
“We kind of knew it was a rebuilding year, but some of the other girls are so used to winning it’s been really hard on them. I’m really proud of my seniors.”
The Lady Lions lose three seniors in Sophia Knuckles, Brooke Sanders and Lauren Myers.
“Those girls have made sure that they kept the other girls up, and they’ve worked with them one on one. They have really shown true leadership, and you know yourself that you can come out here,” said Knuckles about the seniors. “It’s easy to win, but when you’re getting beat every game it’s hard to stay up. These girls have practiced and they’ve battled, and they still came out here and fought for their school.”
Monday’s game started out promising for the Lady Lions. With bases loaded, LaKylla Medlin walked Myers to give Pineville a 1-0 lead.
With two outs on the board, Chelsey Parks hit a two-run RBI single to right field to increase the Lady Lion lead to 3-0.
A strikeout by Katrina Collett ended Pineville’s at-bat.
The Lady Wildcats got on a row in the home half of the first, scoring six runs in the inning. A two-run RBI double from Kaitley Jackson cut the lead to 3-2. Makenzie Grant followed suit with another two-run RBI double to give Lynn Camp a 4-3 lead. She later scored on a fielding error to give the Lady Wildcats a 5-3 lead.
Lynn Camp finished the inning with a run from Summer Berry to increase the lead to 6-3.
After holding Pineville scoreless, the Lady Wildcats added five runs in the second inning. An RBI triple from Summar Gregory widened the margin to 7-3. A two-run RBI double from Jackson ballooned the Lynn Camp lead to 9-3.
Jackson and Grant scored to finish the inning and increased the lead to 11-3. The Lady Wildcats added another run in the third and two runs in the fourth to secure an 11-run victory in the fifth inning.
Lynn Camp (19-12, 5-2) will play Knox Central (14-12, 6-0) in the 51st District championship at 6 p.m. on Wednesday.
Reach Anthony Cloud at 606-302-9090 or on Twitter @AnthonyCloudMDN