Grayson County’s Embry Thorpe hurled a brilliant two-hitter Thursday afternoon in Hodgenville to pace the Cougar softball team to a 4-1 win over the Larue County Hawks.
Thorpe probably would have had a two-hit shutout if not for a blown call by the umpire behind the plate who allowed a run to score for the Hawks in the fifth inning on a sacrifice fly despite the Hawk runner at third leaving the bag way too soon.
Thorpe was in complete control from the start, allowing an infield single in the first inning, then giving up a double in the fifth when leftfielder Jenna Nash fell as she was trying to move to the ball. The big right-hander walked no one in her seven innings of work and struck out nine Hawk batters. Thorpe also had three hits on the day and drove in the Cougars’ fourth run in the seventh inning on a ringing double to center.
The Cougars did most of their damage against Hawk pitcher Sarah Jo Calhoun in the first two innings. Kenzie Renfrow led off with a walk, moved to second on a Thorpe single, then was safe at third when Calhoun threw late to third base after fielding a come-backer off the bat of Bailey Snyder.
One out later, Renfrow scored on a single up the middle by shortstop Mikayla Clark to make it 1-0. Second baseman Maddie Duvall hit a looping single into right that plated Shelbi Fisher, who had entered the game as a courtesy runner for Thorpe, to make it 2-0.
The Cougars added another run in the second inning, making it 3-0. Renfrow walked again with one out, stole second, then moved to third on Thorpe’s second hit, a single into left. Snyder followed with a groundout to short, and Renfrow was able to come home on the play at first.
The Hawks scored their only run in the fifth. With one out, centerfielder Paige Evans hit a fly ball down the line in left. As Nash started to move to the ball, she lost her footing and went down, allowing Evans to reach second base with a double. Nash’s throw back to the infield eluded everyone, allowing Evans to advance to third.
Hawk leadoff hitter, Presley Brown, followed with a looping fly ball to center, on which Renfrow made a last-second, diving catch on the ball. Evans, thinking the ball was falling for a hit, left third base and was nearly halfway down the line when Renfrow caught the ball, but when the Cougars appealed the play at third, the home-plate umpire singled safe.
The Cougars got that run back in the top of the seventh. With one out, Renfrow was safe on an error by Brown at short. Renfrow stole second, then scored when Thorpe ripped a line drive into the teeth of the strong breeze which had been blowing in all day from centerfield. The ball rolled to the fence and Thorpe pulled into second with an RBI double.
Thorpe then worked a 1-2-3 seventh against the heart of the Hawk lineup to end the game.
With the win, the Cougars evened their season record at 3-3. The Hawks fell to 9-8 with the loss.
By Don Brown, Local Sports
Reach Don at firstname.lastname@example.org
Embry Thorpe ripped a line-drive double to the fence in
center to drive in the Cougars’ fourth run in their 4-1 win
at Larue County on Thursday.
Shelbi Fisher rounded third following an RBI single by
Mikayla Clark in the first inning. Fisher later scored the
Cougars’ second run.
Mikayla Clark singled in the Cougars’ second run
in the first inning.