Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local Sports

April 23, 2014

Boyd rocks Lady Rams

Juniors Thompson, Irvine lead way

RACELAND — Lora Thompson didn’t realize she got all of it.

The Boyd County junior parked a grand slam over the left-center field fence to supply the Lady Lions with more than enough early cushion on Tuesday at Raceland-Worthington High School.

After Boyd County’s 11-0 five-inning win, coach Geoff Stewart said he’s noticing that the team is getting all of it. The whole puzzle, as he put it.

“We feel like we’re getting on a roll now,” Stewart said. “All pieces of the puzzle are coming together. It could be a good thing, because we’re getting into the home stretch.”

Boyd County has piled up six consecutive victories. It didn’t take long for the Lady Lions to seize total control on Tuesday.

With two outs and the bases loaded, Thompson received an 0-1 delivery from Raceland starter Rylee Austin. Thompson sent a changeup soaring high into the evening’s strong winds.

“Honestly, I didn’t think it was going over at all,” Thompson said.

The long ball was Thompson’s second of the season. The first was an inside-the-parker in Myrtle Beach.

“This one was a little different, not as much running,” she said with a smile.

Thompson kept Raceland’s defense hopping throughout the game. She tallied two hits and a whopping six RBIs to lead the offense.

Taylor Wheeler also smacked a deep bomb — a two-run shot to left field — in the third inning. She scored a team-high three runs.

In all, Boyd County racked up 13 hits. Destiny Goins had three of them, and she reached base via walk in her other plate appearance. Kenzi Martin provided a pair of hits, as did Aryanna Cannoy.

However, Stewart was just as jovial —perhaps even more so — about Boyd County’s pitching.

Junior Hannah Irvine tossed all five innings, allowing just three hits. She had four strikeouts and no walks.

“Hannah Irvine pitched a whale of a game,” Stewart said. “She hit her spots, got a lot of ground balls, stayed ahead in the count ... and that changeup was on again.

“I’m ecstatic to know that I’ve got multiple pitchers who I can bring out in any game and feel comfortable with them,” Stewart added.

Thompson and Alex Meade also frequently step inside the pitching circle for Boyd County.

Austin, a seventh-grader, made her first varsity start for the Lady Rams. Usual starter Kelsey Diller relieved Austin in the third inning after Wheeler’s home run gave Boyd County a 9-0 lead.

Raceland coach Shawn Johnson said he made the decision to go with Austin for future purposes. The Lady Rams travel to Owensboro for the double-elimination state All “A” Classic on Saturday.

“We played this game in anticipation of the state tournament,” Johnson said. “Not saying we weren’t playing to win, but we were preparing our kids for the state tournament. Rylee Austin will have to pitch the second game (on Saturday) against Holy Cross (Louisville). We thought the best way to get her ready for that was to throw her against Boyd County.”

Holy Cross is ranked No. 11 in Kentucky, according to the state coaches poll.

Diller will start Thursday’s 63rd District game against Lewis County, Johnson said.

Stewart said he was “a little surprised” to not see Diller in the circle on Tuesday, but he said he understood the Raceland coach’s reasoning.

As for his team, a rematch with rival Ashland looms. The Kittens dropped the Lady Lions, 11-1, on April 8. They meet on Thursday in Cannonsburg.

“We feel very confident we can play with that team,” Stewart said. “We’ve jut got to play clean. We can’t have that bad inning. We can’t give them an extra out. ... We’re looking forward to the challenge.”

BOYD CO.    432    20    —    11    13    1

RACELAND    000    00    —    0    3    4

Irvine and Goins; Austin, Diller (4) and Curley. W—Irvine. L—Austin. 2B—Goins (B), Johnson (R). HR—Thompson (B), Wheeler (B).

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