On an overcast day, rain refrained but the Boyd County and Russell softball teams whipped up plenty of thunder.
The two lineups combined for three home runs, eight doubles and 26 hits overall with Boyd County prevailing 12-8 on Monday.
Senior Lakin Crum enjoyed a career game for Boyd County, swatting a two-run shot in her first trip to the plate and following it up with two doubles and a single. Her 4-for-4 night includes four RBIs and two runs scored.
“I was just feeling it today,” said Crum, who ripped all four of her hits. “I knew I needed to come out and take care of what I was missing. I was hitting pretty well early in the season, then it died down.”
Crum’s home run, the first of her career, sailed over the center-field fence and staked the Lady Lions to a 4-0 lead.
“As soon as it hit the bat, I could tell it was going out,” Crum said. “I’ve had a couple of balls off the fence before, so I’ve been waiting for this.”
Boyd County coach Geoff Stewart called it a matter of Crum’s patience paying off.
“When Lakin stays back, lets the ball travel into the hitting zone, and doesn’t go fishing after bad pitches, that’s what she’s capable of,” Stewart said.
Crum drilled a two-run double in the second inning, giving Boyd County an early 8-0 cushion. The Lady Lions are happy to have Crum back after she sat out the 2012 season.
“She’s a strong girl, with no fear up there,” said teammate Emily Stewart.
Russell’s bats came alive, generating five consecutive runs to make it a contest, but Boyd County answered with a jolt from an unlikely pinch hitter.
Stewart came off the bench to launch a three-run homer in the fourth and swing the momentum back in the Lady Lions’ favor.
It marked the senior standout’s first appearance after missing five games last week while away on a senior trip to New York City.
“I really didn’t think I would play tonight,” she said. “Coach Stewart said I would have to play my way back on the field. It’s probably the first time I had not started since eighth grade.”
Emily, batting .424, got the call with runners on first and second and no outs. Bri Crooks started the inning with a double and came around to score on a Nicole Goins single and throwing error. Crum followed with a single, then Stewart slammed her third long ball of the season to make it 12-5.
After the game, Boyd County’s coach shook his head.
“Emily hadn’t picked up a bat, as far as game action, for six days and she walks up and hits one 225-230 feet,” he said. “It’s amazing. It shows you what kind of ability and talent she possesses.”
Boyd County’s regular shortstop played the last three innings behind the plate, another position where she excels.
“I feel bad for leaving the team last week,” said Stewart, who returned Sunday. “I’ve made a lot of sacrifices for softball. This was one last time for the seniors to be together on a trip. It was awesome experience. I want to go back.”
Boyd County improved to 14-9 despite being outhit 15-11.
Leadoff hitter Sydney Watkins collected four hits, scored three runs and drove in another during the Lady Devils’ three-run seventh.
Russell junior Hannah Carter went 3-for-4, including a two-run homer in the third inning following doubles by Watkins and Annalee Miller. Carter also drilled a double in the fourth to knock in two runs.
“Russell’s a good-hitting team,” Geoff Stewart said. “Watkins and Carter are as good as anybody in the region. They are really tough outs. Hannah does a great job of adjusting to whatever pitcher is out there.”
Lady Lions sophomore Hannah Irvine went the distance to pick up the win. She worked out of jams in the fifth and sixth innings after Russell put two runners aboard with one out on each occasion.
“Hannah did a good job of pitching out of trouble, plus she was under the weather a little bit,” Boyd County’s coach said.
Russell (8-11) was coming off two losses Saturday in the Touchstone Energy All “A” Classic in Owensboro. Freshman Cassie Fultz pitched into the fourth Monday before Mallory Powell took over in the circle and worked 2 2-3 scoreless innings.
“Overall, I’m very pleased with how we played today,” Lady Devils coach Ron Osborn said. “I’m happy with how we swung the bats and competed.”
Russell freshman Emma Ison had two singles in her first game since fracturing a finger in the season opener.
“Her work habits are off the chart,” Osborn said. “That kid just wants to play ball.”
Miller and Hope Parsley each doubled and singled for the Lady Devils.
Boyd County’s Nicole Goins singled twice and scored three runs. Leadoff hitter Hunter Reeves walked her first three trips and scored twice.
RUSSELL 003 200 3 — 8 15 2
BOYD CO. 440 400 x — 12 11 5
Fultz, Powell (4) and A. Gross; Irvine and Roark, Stewart (5). W—Irvine. L—Fultz. 2B—Parsley (R), Syd. Watkins (R), Miller (R), Carter (R), Crum 2 (BC), Crooks (BC), Mullins (BC). HR—Carter (R), Crum (BC), Stewart (BC).