Garrard girls beat Mercer 9-2

April 16, 2004|MIKE MARSEE

HARRODSBURG - Only one of them could get the victory, but both Garrard County and Mercer County got something out of their softball game Thursday.

Garrard gained the most, as a 9-2 win allowed the Lions to sustain the momentum they began to gather on a trip to Tennessee last week.

First-year coach Ernie Browning said he and assistant coaches Jeff Meadors and Jeff Young are trying to implement a new offensive approach, and Garrard's current run of four straight wins indicates they're starting to make some headway.

"We're trying to teach a different type of game," Garrard coach Ernie Browning said. "We're trying to teach them to play a short game which includes bunting and other strategy. Rather than just free-swinging, we're going to a short game."


It worked right away in this game at Anderson-Dean Community Park, as visiting Garrard (5-1) manufactured four runs in the first inning on only one hit.

Then the offense kicked in late in the game, as six of the Lions' seven hits came in the last two innings.

"We were struggling at first, but now we're getting some hits," said Garrard third baseman Tiffany Asberry, who had three hits and two RBIs.

Some progress for Mercer

But there was measurable progress for Mercer, too. The Scotties (0-3) failed to score in their first two games, which they lost by a combined score of 30-0, so they were glad to get a couple of runs against Garrard.

"We were happy to be on the board," Mercer coach Crystal McGinnis said. "We had only hit the ball about five times total in the (first) two games. Even though we didn't get a lot of good, solid hits (today), we were able to make contact."

Still, Garrard pitcher Tiffany Meadors had her way with the Mercer lineup for the most part. She struck out 13 batters and allowed only two hits and five walks in a 128-pitch outing.

And she had a 4-0 lead to work with when she took the field for the first time. Garrard built that lead in the top of the first inning with three walks, three Mercer errors, two stolen bases, one wild pitch and only one hit, an RBI single by Asberry.

The Lions didn't score again until the sixth, when two wild pitches and the last of five Mercer errors helped them push across two runs to take a 6-1 lead.

They got three more runs in the seventh on consecutive hits by Meadors, Brittany Gilbert, Abby Parsons and Asberry, the last three of which drove in runs.

Asberry said the pattern was typical of the way Garrard has played several times this season.

"We have a good inning at the beginning, and then it slows down, and then we finish good," she said.

Garrard's last game was April 7

Garrard shook off the rust of an eight-day layoff since their last game April 7, when they completed a 3-0 run in a Pigeon Forge, Tenn., tournament.

"We've been hitting inside and doing what we can," Browning said.

Mercer scored its first run of the season when Erin Ashford walked to lead off the home fourth inning and came all the way around from first to score on a throwing error on a sacrifice bunt.

Ashford's RBI single drove in Marci Wilham in the sixth with the Scotties' other run.

"A lot of it with them is mental," McGinnis said of their inability to score runs. "Today we gave them a good pep talk, and they had a little more confidence. We're so young; it's just going to take some time."

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