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JV Lady Cougars roar back against Knights

By DAVID GRAVELY

sports@southwesttimes.com

 

David Gravely/SWT – JV sophomore Madison Aulabaugh connected for this hit late in the seventh inning Tuesday that ended up bringing in the tying and winning runs in the Lady Cougar’s 14-13 win over Cave Spring.

The Pulaski County junior varsity Lady Cougar softball team found themselves in trouble Tuesday. After leading the game through the fourth inning, they suddenly found themselves trailing the Cave Spring Knights. A fast and furious ending to the game earned an incredible 14-13, come from behind win for the Lady Cougars.

 

Cave Spring scored one run in the opening inning thanks to a single and an error. The Lady Cougars answered immediately. With one out on the board, Madison Aulabaugh made it to first base on an error and Emily Webb connected for a single. Ally Fleenor hit a line drive to center field to score Aulabaugh and then Tali Gallimore hit a fly ball that was misplayed, allowing her to reach first and scoring Webb. Mackenzie Wyrick hit a hard grounder toward second base and reached first after another Knight error that also scored Fleenor. With Brookelyn Clark up to bat, Gallimore scored after another error, putting the Lady Cougars up 4-1.

 

The Lady Cougars added to their tally in the bottom of the second. Makaylyn Alley and Paige Huff earned singles before Aulabaugh hit a single of her own to lead the bases. Webb singled to the shortstop to score Alley and keep the bases loaded. Fleenor hit a hard grounder to center field to score huff and Aulabaugh, leaving Pulaski County up 7-1 at the end of the second inning.

 

The Knights moved things closer in the top of the fourth. They scored four runs on two walks, two errors, a single and a triple to bring the score to 7-5 in favor of the Lady Cougars.

 

The top of the fifth saw an offensive explosion by the Knights and a big loss of focus by the Lady Cougars, who committed four errors and walked batters, including the first three of the inning. By the end of the inning the Lady Cougars trailed 13-7.

 

Pulaski County gained some ground in the bottom of the fifth. Fleenor, who had just been hit by a hard shot to the lower leg, hit a single but had to leave the game after hobbling to first base. Maddy Price took her place on first base and moved to second on a single by Gallimore. Wyrick added another single to score Price and move Gallimore to third. Gwendolyn Puckett grounded out to second base, but earned an RBI when Gallimore scored. Huff laid down a bunt to reach first and score Wyrick to end the inning with the Lady Cougars still trailing 13-10.

 

Neither team scored in the sixth and Tali Gallimore, who took over the pitching duties from Wyrick earlier in the game, helped hold the Knights to three up, three down in the top of the seventh.

 

Then came the big finish. The bottom of the seventh started with a big strikeout, but Puckett singled to center field to reach first. Alley moved her to second with a single to center and then Huff loaded the bases with a sharply hit grounder.

 

Eighth-grader Dixie Jones came into the game to crack a single to center field that scored Puckett. Down by two runs, Aulabaugh calmly stepped into the batter’s box and sends the ball deep into the right field area. Alley scored, but as the runners were holding up at second and third the right fielder misplayed the ball. Head Coach Amanda Dishon sent all runners forward immediately, with Aulabaugh moving to third and Huff and Jones scored to end the game with Pulaski County earning the 14-13 comeback win.

 

Despite the win, there were still problems for the Lady Cougars. Pulaski County earned an outstanding 18 hits but committed eight costly errors, four coming in the fifth inning alone.

 

Huff was four for four at the plate with two runs scored and an RBI. Fleenor was three for three with a run scored and three RBI. Aulabaugh was three for five with two runs scored and an RBI. Alley recorded two hits and scored two runs. Webb had two hits, a walk, an RBI and a run scored. Wyrick had a hit, a run scored and two RBI. Puckett finished with one hit, an RBI and a run scored. Jones was one for one with an RBI and a run scored. Gallimore had one hit and a run scored. Price scored two runs.

 

Wyrick got the pitching start, going 4.2 innings while giving up five hits, nine walks and 13 runs (two earned) while striking out six batters. Gallimore came in to finish on the pitching rubber going 2.1 innings. She gave up no hits, no runs and no walks to earn the win.

 

The win moves the JV Lady Cougars to 4-5 on the season. They were scheduled to host Northside Wednesday and Patrick Henry Thursday at the Lady Cougar softball field. Game time each day is set for 5 p.m.

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