By KIM NELSON
ROANOKE–After just two days out on the field and a scrimmage, the Pulaski County High School jayvee softball team took the field for its first game of the season. The Cougars traveled to River’s Edge Sports Complex in Roanoke to face Patrick Henry. The Cougars came home with a 5-4 victory to open the 2013 season.
The Cougars started off the game scoring three runs in the first in what looked like was going to be an easy day. Leadoff Callie Ratcliffe singled to left, Chelsey Gravely reached first on an error which put Ratcliffe at third. Gravely stole second before Ashley Curtis sacrificed home Ratcliffe. Kayla Price singled up the middle to plate Gravely and moved to second on a passed ball. Caitie Cox reached first on an error by the PH second baseman to bring home Price.
Pulaski County added another run in the third inning when Curtis walked. Price hit into a fielder’s choice which put Curtis at third. Price stole second before Cox connected on an infield hit which scored Curtis. Cox stole second but that’s as far as she would get.
PH got on the scoreboard in the fourth off of a single followed by a home run by Taylor Eichelberger to close the gap to 4-2.
The Cougars answered in the fifth as Curtis walked stole second and third and scored on a passed ball to make it 5-2.
Eichelberger did it again in the sixth with a solo homerun to push it to 5-3 Cougars. PH made things interesting as they added its final run in the seventh. With one out in the inning, Cougar hurler Jade Murray hit Ciera McDaniel to put her on first. McDaniel stole second, moved to second on a single by Kyra Johnson, took third on an infield hit which plated McDaniel to make it 5-4. After a strikeout, Eichelberger was up, but Cougar right fielder Tayler Robertson caught the long fly ball to end the inning and preserve the Cougar victory.
Ratcliffe picked up the victory for the Cougars. She worked 3 1/3 innings. She gave up two runs on three hits, and struck out five. Murray gave up two runs on two hits. She walked one and fanned four across 3 2/3 innings.
Pulaski County picked up four hits, one each from Ratcliffe, Price, Cox, and Sindie Hedge and the Cougars recorded seven stolen bases.
With the win, the Cougars are 1-0 and they host Galax on Tuesday at 5 at Randolph Park.