Golden Lions lose to favored Cardinals 3-1

June 03, 2004|JILL ERWIN

RUSSELL SPRINGS - Garrard County played one of its best games, but it still wasn't enough to knock off the tournament favorite.

The Golden Lions (19-17) grabbed an early lead, but couldn't make it hold up as South Laurel rallied for a 3-1 win in the first 12th Region Tournament semifinal Wednesday. The Cardinals will face Pulaski Southwestern in the championship game tonight.

"They played real well this whole season," Garrard coach Jeff Meadors said. "I knew coming in that today would be tough."

Garrard scored in the first inning as leadoff hitter Brittany Lane doubled, moved to third on a single by Brittany Gilbert and scored on a groundout by Abby Parsons.


But Garrard would never get more than one hit in any inning after that as South Laurel came on strong in the third and fourth innings.

After getting two hits but no runs in each of the first two innings, the Cardinals (34-5) broke through in the third. Shaye Fields led off with a single, and back-to-back doubles by Brittany Turner and Taran Johnson scored two runs. South Laurel had runners on second and third with one out, but Garrard's Tiffany Meadors rebounded to strike out Brittany Roark and get Lindsay Brown to ground out.

But South Laurel struck again in the fourth. Leadoff hitter Lauren Wombles reached on an error and, after two outs, scored on a single by Turner.

Turner and Johnson, the Cardinals' third and fourth hitters, combined to reach base five of the eight times they batted and had all three RBIs.

"I'll take the blame there," Jeff Meadors said. "I was calling pitches, and I was calling them in bad spots. Other than that, they played well. As good as we could, I thought."

Meadors struck out eight

After Turner's RBI single, Tiffany Meadors didn't allow a hit. She finished the game with eight strikeouts and one walk while giving up nine hits. She held South Laurel to nearly half its average of 5.7 runs a game.

Part of that was due to the defense behind her, which made three plays at third base to help keep South Laurel off the scoreboard early.

In the first inning, after two of the first three batters singled, Garrard turned two force plays at third to keep the game scoreless.

"What we've worked on all year is staying focused, and when you don't get that out at first, don't give up," Jeff Meadors said. "They did that well tonight and through the postseason."

Gilbert was 3-for-3 with three singles for the Golden Lions, who also got hits from Lane and Sara Carrier.

Lane, Gilbert, Kia Howard and Tiffany Meadors played their final game for Garrard, and Jeff Meadors said it will be an emotional goodbye to the seniors he's coached for most of their lives. Tiffany is his daughter, and he has coached some of the others throughout their careers.

"I coach like a dad to them," Meadors said. "I feel like I'm their dad, and that could be good or bad, I don't know. I've had some of them since they were seven years old. It's sad to let them go, but that's part of life.

"I'm excited and looking forward to next year, because we have a good group to build on. But I'm going to miss this group."

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