Greenup County has found its swing at just the right time.
It could not have come at a better moment during a pivotal week on the schedule.
For the second straight game, the Lady Musketeers put double-digit runs on the scoreboard. The latest hitting display came Thursday night when they pummeled district rival Raceland, 10-0, in six innings at Greenup County High School.
Greenup County beat Russell 13-7 on Tuesday night.
Lady Musketeers coach Eric Keeton was not surprised with his team’s resurgence at the plate. He says they just needed to relax.
“We have been telling our girls ‘don’t stress about the at-bats, just react,’” Keeton said. “I hear girls in our dugout shouting encouragement when we were at bat. We have a lot of girls that want to win and they are a reslient bunch.”
Greenup County and Russell are now 4-2 in district seeding games. If Raceland defeats Lewis County tonight, the 63rd District will finish with a three-way tie at the top.
Determining the No. 1 seed in the tough district can get a little tricky since each team has identical records against the other two.
The second tiebreaker is runs allowed in district games. That distinction goes to Greenup County, which has given up only 15 runs in six games.
“Our district is one of the most difficult in the region,” Keeton said. “No game is a given. That’s why we play the game.”
Raceland coach Shawn Johnson echoed those statements.
“We showed top to bottom that this is the toughest district in the region,” Johnson said. “Greenup has been a solid team all year. If you look back, their sophomore and junior class won all the little league games years ago.
“It’s not like we came out and laid an egg, they’ve got good players,” he added.
The Lady Musketeers will be the top seed when the tournament begins later this month in Vanceburg.
Greenup County wasted no time getting on the board with a little small ball in its first at-bat.
Jordan Moore led off the inning with a single before moving to third on a wild pitch and a sacrifice bunt.
She plated the game’s first run on a sqeeze play when Paige Howard bunted back to the pitcher.
The Lady Musketeers added two more in the second on a bases-loaded walk and a wild pitch.
Andrea Dean’s opposite-field, RBI triple in the third highlighted her 3-for-4 night. The senior outfielder tallied three RBIs and scored a run. Sam Mitchell scored three times going 4-for-4 and Abby Sanders went 2-for-2 with an RBI and crossed the plate twice.
“Raceland has a very good team so it was very important to get a couple of runs across early in the game,” Keeton said. “They are well-coached and have good bats. It was important to get the momentum early.”
Raceland tried to battle back, putting runners on the bases in the first four innings, but could not find the hit to bring them home. Raceland stranded eight.
“It’s disappointing because we put ourselves in the driver’s seat but we allowed Greenup County to take us out,” Johnson said. “Their pitcher did a nice job. She made pitches when she needed to make them.”
Starting pitcher Brooke Johnson walked four. She was shaky early for the Lady Musketeers but found her groove after the second stanza. The right-hander had five punchouts to record the win and retired the last seven batters she faced, including striking out the side in the sixth.
“She is one of the best pitchers in the region,” Keeton said. “Brooke is our workhorse.”
Greenup County tallied six runs in the fifth and sixth innings to end the game a frame early.
Dean’s single up the middle scored Saunders and Howard. Mitchell came home on a throwing error in the fifth.
In their final at-bat, Saunders had an RBI double to start the inning. Moore scored on a fielder’s choice when she jarred the ball out of the catcher’s mitt on the throw home. Saunders eventually came around to score to finish off the Lady Rams (14-9).
Greenup County improves to 10-12.
RACELAND 000 000 — 0 4 2
GREENUP CO. 121 033 — 10 13 0
Diller and Curley; Johnson and Howard. W—Johnson. L—Diller. 2B—Mackie (R), Sanders (GC). 3B—Dean (GC).
Greenup County has found its swing at just the right time.
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