The Henry County Lady Cats opened their season with a slugfest against Trimble County on Friday evening in Bedford. The Lady Cats fell behind early and then battled back to win the game 13-8.
Freshman Shelby Ray who had 5 RBIs for the Cats knocked in the winning run in the 6th with a groundout that scored senior Krista DeBurger.
The Lady Cats opened the game with a run in the first as Paige DeBurger got a one-out hit and then advanced to second on a throwing error. She advanced to third on a groundout by Krista DeBurger and scored on a single by Olivia Whaley who had four RBIs in the game.
But Trimble County answered with four runs in their half of the first inning. Krista DeBurger, the Lady Cats starting pitcher, struggled with control early on and then was cleated while covering home plate.
“Krista started and to be fair, probably didn’t have enough time to warm up,” coach Jon Kasten. “My plan was to try and pitch both girls anyway. There was a passed ball that Krista covered home for and she got cleated. I could tell that she was hurting and when I went out to talk to her, she told me that she wasn’t throwing very well and the team may be better off if Aly Stanley pitched and she went and played short. Although I hated to pull her, it showed a lot of team leadership for her to tell me that, and for that, I was pleased.”
Stanley, a sophomore, came in and pitched 6 2/3 innings as DeBurger moved to shortstop.
Stanley held the Raiders scoreless for the next two innings as the Lady Cats chipped away at the lead with one run in the second and then three in the third to take the lead at 5-4.
The Cats added three more runs in the 4th inning to go up 8-4 but the Raiders got their offense going again with four more runs in the bottom of the inning to tie the score.
After a scoreless fifth inning, the Lady Cats got the go ahead RBI from Ray and then went on to score four insurance runs in the top of the 7th inning, while Stanley closed the door on the Raider offense and got the long relief win.
The Cats racked up 20 hits on the day and six walks. Whaley led the way with a 4-4 performance at the plate. Paige DeBurger, Ray and Mikaela Cline each had three hits. Two of Ray’s hits went for doubles.
Stanley gave up 12 hits and struck out 8 batters. She gave up only one walk.
Kasten was pleased with the offensive performance but saw some room for improvement in other areas.
“I felt it was a good start, “ he said. “We had some very bright points but also things to work on. I thought offensively, we played very well. Every girl 1-9 ended up with at least one hit in the game and we hit the ball very hard. We still need to work defensively. Trimble had some hitters, but we also made some mistakes that ended up costing some runs. We also need to work on situations, and I’ll take the blame for that, and trying to run some plays correctly to be able to add another run or two.”
“Shelby Ray hit the ball very well. One of her doubles almost cleared the fence to the opposite field. Olivia is also hitting well right now. What impressed me most about Olivia is that she was down two strikes in several of her at-bats and was able to work the pitcher to where she would get hits.”