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Lady Pat softball team defeats McCreary; gives new coach first win

STANFORD — The Lincoln County Lady Patriot softball team claimed its first win of the season, and the first for new coach Heather Hasty, by defeating McCreary Central High School 5-2 Monday night in the team’s home opener.

The Lady Patriot defense was a little shaky at the start of the 12th Region game, giving up two runs to the Lady Raiders in their first at-bat. But Lincoln righted itself after the first inning, holding the visitors scoreless over the remaining six innings while cranking out five runs for the team’s, and Hasty’s, first win. 

“Yes, they came together towards the end which was good to see,” said Hasty. “That’s what we’ve been preaching to them, is just staying tough through all of it and making sure that we learn to fight through the adversity that we face. I feel like they did a really good job of that.”

In the top of the first inning, a wild pitch and a dropped ball allowed Jayci Ball and Bradley Powell, who was courtesy runner for pitcher Macey Welchel, to score for the Lady Raiders and give the visitors a temporary 2-0 lead. McCreary (1-1) had one runner on with two outs, when Lincoln pitcher Savannah Robbins got Cammie Gilreath to ground out and end the inning.

Lincoln (1-1) got back one run in the bottom of the first when Maddy Boyle scored on a Madisen Hinkle single. Boyle, who reached on a bunt, moved to second on a Sara-Mae Bullock ground out and took third on a Carmen Green bunt before coming home. 

Bullock evened the game at 2-all when she scored on another Hinkle RBI single in the bottom of the third. Bullock reached on an infield single, stole second and advanced to third on a Green single. Green would not stay on first long. She moved to second base on the Hinkle hit, then came on home on a shot into left centerfield by Trinity Shearer to put the Lady Patriots on top to stay, 3-2.

The 4-hit effort in the third inning put Lincoln’s total hits to nine. But the total would grow before game’s end as the Lady Patriots tagged at least one hit in each of the team’s six at-bats to finish with 14 hits. 

Kallie Phillips connected for a leadoff double in the bottom of the fourth and Hinkle did the same in the fifth inning. Then, in the Lady Pats’ final at-bat in the sixth, Lincoln had three hits – all doubles. Phillips, who was 2-for-3 batting, led off the sixth with her second double of the game. After a ground out by Robbins, Tate Newcomb, speedup for Phillips, came on home, scoring on a Boyle sacrifice fly. Bullock, who finished 3-for-4, tagged a double to left centerfield then Green, who was also 3-for-4, doubled to left to plate Bullock for the 5-2 final.

“They finally got their bats going which was nice to see,” Hasty said. “I think they started to react under the pressure and they’re getting better at handling the pressure. So we’re working in the right direction.”

Robbins, who got the complete-game win, allowed two runs off six hits, with two walks. She struck out four batters, closing the game with a ground out and two of the strikeouts in the top of the seventh. 

Welchel took the loss for McCreary. She gave up five runs off 14 hits, with one walk.

Celya Kiser led the Lady Raider battery with two hits.

While just two games into the spring season, Lincoln’s first-year coach is already liking the progress in the short time she’s been with the team. 

“We’re definitely growing,” Hasty said. “It’s a process and that’s what I’m trying to preach to them, too, is just trying to make sure that they’re trusting in this process that we’re going. I don’t expect them to win every game off the get-go. But it’s awesome to see the progress that they’re making in such the short time that we’ve had to see where it can end up, and believe in that process so we’ll get to where we are winning every game hopefully.”

at Lincoln Co.

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7   R   H E    
McCreary   2 0 0 0 0 0 0 – 2   6   1
Lincoln       1 0 2 0 0 2 x – 7 14   2