TAZEWELL, Va. —
The offense was good but (lack of) defense made the difference.
Hannah Morrison cracked a three-run home run to highlight a fourth inning explosion as hard-hitting Lebanon (6-6) took advantage of slippery defense to pin a tough, 8-6 loss on Tazewell (4-9) Friday. All seven Pioneer runs in the big inning were unearned. Lebanon
Two hits and two errors helped Tazewell get three runs in the bottom of the fourth as the teams combined for 10 runs, 7 hits and four errors in the 25-minute inning. Overall, Tazewell outhit Lebanon 9-8 but an uncharacteristic lack of leather by the usually sure-handed Tazewell team proved decisive.
“It was a tough game,” noted Tazewell coach Tom Keene. “You can’t make many mistakes in the field against a quality team like Lebanon and beat them very often. They don’t let up with the bat.”
Lauren Compton, able on the mound and at bat, opened with a single and took third on a booming double by Rachel Bundy. Taylor Woodlief spanked a single to through the hole to drive home both runners and make it 2-0. Leslie Boardwine reached base before Haley Justus doubled home two more runs.
Lindsey Stinson made it to first after a Bulldog bobble and then Morrison drilled a liner over the fence in left for three Pioneer runs, upping the margin to 7-0.
“We are 6-6, but our hitting is better than our record shows,” said Lebanon coach Sheila Adams. “Once we get our timing down, we put the bat on the ball. It took a couple of innings in either case but we caught up to their (Tazewell) pitchers. Neither side played great defense but both teams hit the ball very well.”
Gracie Cline and Whitney Saunders both singled as Tazewell battled back in the fourth inning. Laken Sparks reached on an error before Saunders scored on a fielder’s choice. Zoe McReynolds also got on following a Pioneer miscue as both Sparks and Ally Lee were able to make it home. That cut Lebanon’ s lead to 7-3.
Sparks took the mound for Tazewell in the fifth, McReynolds went over to third and Lee moved behind the plate in the next inning as Tazewell stopped the Pioneers 1-2-3.
Shayna McNulty popped a double off the left field fence for the Lady Dogs and Laura Kincer reached on an infield single in the bottom of the fifth. After McNulty was forced at third, Tazewell got the bases loaded and Saunders dropped a single down the line in right to bring Kincer home. That cut the Pioneer advantage to 7-4.
Compton bore down, however, and was aided by a double play when Sparks’ bid for a hit to left was snagged by leaping Lindsey Stinson, who threw to third for the final out as Tazewell stranded two.
Justus got aboard on a fielder’s choice and scored the last Lebanon run in the top of the sixth after Morrison reached on an Bulldog infield error.
Down by four in the last inning, the Lady Dogs made a dramatic comeback bid. Kincer singled. Karlee Wasilewski followed with a base hit up the middle. With two outs, Sparks drove home both runners with a solid single. That cut the margin to 8-6 and the Dogs got no closer.
“As a senior, I’m supposed to be the leader, and I’ll put this on my shoulders,” said Tazewell’s Saunders. “I have to play better defense. We could have kept ourselves in position to win if we had made the routine plays with the glove.”
Lebanon plays at Virginia High Tuesday while Tazewell will travel to Abingdon.
at Tazewell High School
Lebanon.........000 701 0 — 8 8 3
Tazewell.........000 310 2 — 6 9 3
Compton and Justus. McReynolds and Sparks (4). Sparks and Lee (3). W —Compton. L—McReynolds. HR—Morrison (L) 4th, 2 on.