The Corrigan-Camden Ladydogs survived a 10-inning marathon to defeat Trinity 2-1 in the first game of a best-of-three series in Class 3A Bi-district action Thursday at Ladydog Field.
A super defensive effort helped offset the lack of run production, despite Corrigan’s 12-5 advantage in hits.
“Sometimes our defense has to pull us out,” commented head coach Michael Scoggin. “We didn’t hit the ball bad, we just couldn’t come up with the big hit.
“I think we had runners on almost every inning but maybe one or two, so we did well. We just have to come out (Friday) and try to get the big hit.”
A pitching dual between Katy Burris and Trinity’s Kinley Searcy developed early, and it would take five innings before either team could get on the scoreboard in the fast-paced matchup.
Corrigan (26-8) out-hit the Tigers 3-2 in the first four frames, as both squads stranded a pair of runners.
The two teams finally broke through in the fifth, notching a run apiece. Alex Harrell, who went 2-for-4 at the plate, drove the first pitch off Searcy into centerfield, scoring Makenna Hughes for a 1-0 lead.
Trinity, who was designated the home team, knotted the score with a bases loaded walk after boarding on an error and two singles in the bottom half of the inning.
Four more scoreless innings quickly mounted. Corrigan managed five hits, but stranded five, and left 11 on base throughout the contest.
Burris threw a gem of a game in limiting the Tigers to five hits overall. She issued one walk, hit two batters, and struck out eight.
Although the Ladydogs managed 12 hits off Searcy, the Tiger pitcher shut out four of Corrigan’s starters and finished the game with 12 strikeouts.
“Her main pitch is a rise ball and that’s a tough pitch to hit,” said Scoggin. “She’s a very good pitcher. I think she may even be all-state, but I know she travels all over the nation pitching.”
Burris won the pitching dual over the last five frames, limiting the Tigers to one hit and a walk. On the flip side, the Bulldogs cranked out eight hits, but would leave five stranded before they plated the winning run in the top of the 10th.
Searcy started the final frame with a strikeout to slugger Hailey Nash, who struggled with Searcy’s rise ball throughout the game.
Batting third in the order, Molly Rayborn singled up the middle for her third base hit of the game. A strikeout to cleanup batter Keely Smith had the home team down to one out in the game’s third extra frame.
K.K. Harrison, Corrigan’s go-to hitter of late, stepped to the plate and hit a line drive back to Searcy who was unable to make a clean play on the ball. Before Searcy could gather the ball and make the throw to first, Harrison was on board.
Harrison had the most success off Searcy, hitting singles in the second, sixth, eighth, and none more important than the line drive in the 10th inning.
Makenna Hughes kept the inning alive and connected the biggest knock of the game when she singled to center field to score Rayborn for a 2-1 edge over the Tigers.
Searcy stranded Harrison and Hughes when she fanned Eryka Price for the final out of the inning.
Burris finished her dominating performance by retiring the Lady Tigers in order in the bottom of the tenth with two infield grounders and an infield pop fly, giving the
Ladydogs an edge in the first round playoff series.
The two teams were scheduled to play game two (and three if necessary) Friday in Hudson.
Whether or not the Tigers can come back with Searcy in game two, the Ladydogs will go with an equally tough pitcher in sophomore Makenna Hughes, who alternates duty on the mound with Burris.
Scoggin is more concerned in keeping his Ladydogs hitting the ball and mentally focused in attempting to win the first round playoff series against an equally tough Tiger squad.
“We just have to take it one game at a time. I know that’s cliché, but we’re so young that sometimes we get excited and look forward one or two games in advance, and sometimes you’ve got to hold the reins back on them.
“We need to focus on the next game, because we haven’t done anything yet. We need to try to bring it (Friday).”