By Bob Flynn
Register Sports Writer
The Madison Southern Lady Eagles softball team opened their season with a 9-7 win over Lafayette Tuesday in Berea.
The Lady Eagles scored five second-inning runs to erase a 1-0 Lafayette lead, then plated four more in the fifth inning to take a 9-1 lead.
Lafayette took advantage of a couple of Southern errors in the top of the sixth inning to cut the deficit to 9-5.
Two more Lady Generals runs in the seventh got them to within two run, 9-7, but Southern ace Tara Bord closed the door, enticing Caroline Perkins to pop up to Jaycee Combs at third to end the game.
Southern coach Brian Foley said it wasn’t the prettiest win, but he’s glad to get the first one in the books.
“I felt like early we made things happen. We didn’t swing at bad pitches and they walked in three or four runs. In the sixth inning we had some mental mistakes and a couple of errors and they got back in it,” Foley said. “But all-in-all, it’s a win, so I can’t be too upset or discouraged. If this team can improve from day-to-day, the sky’s the limit. I’ve told them from day one that they hold their own destiny in their own hands.”
After Lafayette took the early 1-0 lead, Kelley Freeman drew a bases-loaded walk to tie it at 1-1 in the second.
Back-to-back singles by Bethany Mays and Alex Nash made it 4-1, then Mays scampered home on a wild pitch to put the Lady Eagles on top 5-1.
Bord kept the Lady Generals’ bats in check and took the 5-1 lead into the bottom of the fifth inning where Southern added to its lead.
Alex Nash opened the inning with a walk. Pinch runner Taeler Hensley stole second and went to third on a fielder’s choice grounder to second by Jaycee Combs.
Consecutive walks to Bord, Brianna Lanham, Abby Nash and Kayla Hargis pushed three more runs across the plate to give Southern an 8-1 lead.
Samantha Parms made it 9-1 with a ground out to second base before Lafayette finally got out of the inning.
After back-to-back errors by Southern to open the sixth inning, Bord retired the next two batters and it looked like the Lady Eagles might get out of the inning unscathed.
But three consecutive singles by Lafayette pushed four runs across the plate to make it 9-5. Bord ended the rally by getting Madison Burke to pop up to end the inning.
Lafayette got the first two runners on base in the top of the seventh before Bord retired the next two batters on pop-ups.
But consecutive singles by Kellie Payne and Kara Bethel got the Lady Generals to within 9-7.
But once again, Bord got out of the jam by getting an infield pop-up to end the game.
Bord went the distance for Southern, scattering 13 hits to pick up her first win of the season.
“Tara got the ball up a little bit there in the middle of the game, but it’s the first game. She’s going to get better,” Foley said. “All our pitchers are going to get better, they’re going to hit their spots better and we are going to be OK.”
Alex Nash led the way for Southern at the plate with two singles, a pair of walks and three RBIs.
Mays and Lanham had a single and an RBI each, Bord and Combs each had a single, and Parms, Hargis and Freeman all picked up an RBI.
The Lady Eagles returns to action on Thursday when they travel to Rockcastle County to take on the Lady Rockets.