Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local Sports

April 28, 2013

Paving the way to May

Boyd, Lawrence each grab pair of solid wins

CANNONSBURG — Boyd County coach Geoff Stewart knew the point of the weekend’s Boyd County Spring Classic. The quality of competition would help his team get ready for next month.

Boyd County went 2-1, beating Menifee County, 7-1, on Friday and defeating Spring Valley, W.Va., 8-3 on Saturday.

The Lady Lions’ only loss came to West Virginia AAA defending state champions Wayne County, 9-2, on Friday night. Overall, Stewart thought it was a good weekend for his team.

“I’ll take it,” Stewart said. “We’ve been in a little bit of a funk lately and things haven’t gone well. Overall I thought we played pretty well and it’s all about May anyway.”

The most impressive bat in the lineup over the weekend was junior Taylor Wheeler. The shortstop went 8-for-11 in the three games with three doubles and a triple.

In Boyd County’s last game of the weekend against Spring Valley, Wheeler sent a two-run double to left field to score the go-ahead run for the Lady Lions.

“That’s what we expect out of Taylor,” Stewart said. “She’s one of the best hitters in our region and sometimes we expect too much out of Taylor. But she came up with a big hit today and she’s batting really hot right now.”

The Lady Lions also had a big weekend from Nicole Goins, who hit two doubles and a deep home run to left field to tie the Spring Valley game. And against Menifee County, Lora Thompson held the Lady Cats to one hit, one run and struck out 13 to pick up the win for Boyd County.

The last in-season tournament of the year gave Boyd County another good test, of which it’s had plenty.

“We just want to keep getting better and keep improving in all facets of the game to be ready for the postseason,” Stewart said. “We’ve played a heck of schedule. Our record is not where I thought it would be, or where it needs to be, but it’s the toughest it’s been in a long time.”

Lawrence County, which came into the Boyd County Spring Classic with one of the top records in the 15th Region, also finished the weekend at 2-1.

The Lady Bulldogs defeated Spring Valley, 4-3, on Friday and took down Rowan County, 7-4, in its first game on Saturday.

“It feels good to get a win,” said Lawrence County coach Kenny Horn. “I don’t care who it’s against, a win is a win. Those are two good programs and it was good to beat them.”

Samantha Fitzpatrick led the way for Lawrence County, going 7-for-11 in the weekend with a double, two triples, three RBIs and picked up two wins in the circle.

In the final game of the weekend for Lawrence County though, the Lady Bulldogs struggled to plate runs in a 7-1 loss to West Carter.

Even though he found his team down by six in the final inning, Horn was proud of the effort — especially that from senior Kristin Caudill, whose knees ended up bloody and uniform dirty.

“The most impressive play was when we were down six runs and she’s trying to get on first base,” Horn said of a play in which Caudill dove head-first to try and beat a throw. Caudill finished the weekend with three RBIs and reached base in every game for the Lady Bulldogs.

West Carter had too much Leatha Reynolds for Lawrence County to handle. The Lady Comet junior went 3-for-4, including a home run to left field.

She also picked up the win in the circle, allowing just one Lawrence County run. The Lady Comets picked up 11 total hits, and scored four runs in the fourth inning.

“Our whole team has been hitting the ball lately,” said West Carter coach Greg Reynolds. “Hopefully we’re getting in a rhythm, because we’ve played less games than everybody. And this has been a long week — we’ve played six games this week — and we have another long week ahead. We need to get in a flow.”

West Carter had the last game of the Boyd County Spring Classic, falling to St. Albans, W.Va., 7-1. Reynolds added another RBI to her tally, while Alyssa Shelton and Amber Thornsberry both went 2-for-4 in the game.  

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