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‘Clicking on all cylinders’

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Lady Bearcat machine mauls host Boyle for tourney title

By John Herndon

DANVILLE – The demolition of the field in the Boyle County Invitational done, Brian Glass could only chuckle and produce a look of amazement at what he had just seen his Anderson County softball team do to win the tournament.

“Our offense is just clicking on all cylinders,” he said.

No further explanation was needed.

The Lady Bearcats had just routed the host school 12-2 in the tournament final at Danville’s Millennium Park on Saturday night. While Boyle is not considered one of the state’s powers, the Lady Rebels had been making some noise, winning eight of their last 10 coming into the final. Among Boyle’s victims in that stretch had been defending 12th Region champion Garrard County. Boyle had also beaten 15th-ranked Warren East just before that string of success.

Saturday, however, Anderson was in a different league, capping a day when the Lady Bearcats had won four games by a combined 39-5 score.

The Lady Cats hit. They ran. They created ways to circle the bases.

Against Boyle, the Lady Bearcats pounded 12 hits, with eight of the nine spots in the order reaching base safely. Seven different Anderson players scored, led by leadoff hitter Christina Harvey’s three runs.

Harvey went 3-for-5 in the title game and reached base on an error. Against Boyle, none of Harvey’s hits traveled more than 25 feet and she deftly push bunted to the third base side and used her blazing speed to beat throws to first. It capped a day in which Harvey reached first base safely 12 out of 14 times up.

But Harvey wasn’t the only weapon.

Courtney Turpin reached base five times, twice on errors, and drove in two runs. Chelsea Bright had a pair of RBI and Lauren Brown doubled. So potent were the Anderson bats that Glass took down Karrah Bottoms, who had homered in a previous game, for Ashley Cotton in the sixth inning. Cotton promptly singled.

Glass could only smile again. “We let some other kids hit today, to get some swings, and everybody came through,” he said. “Everybody had a good tournament. The girls are playing in their roles and doing their jobs. We can switch people around. That can only help us get better.”

Anderson’s aggressiveness on the base paths bewildered Boyle, which committed six errors. If any play underscored the Lady Cats’ mindset, it came in the third inning when Chelsea Bright singled Turpin and Lauren Brown home, go to second on the throw in, then finish circling the bases on an error committed on a hasty throw. That put the Lady Cats up 4-1.

Up 6-2 in the sixth, Anderson put things out of reach by capitalizing on two Boyle errors for three unearned runs.

The Anderson attack was so dominant that it was almost easy to overlook the overpowering perfomance Turpin turned in on the pitching rubber. Turpin gave up four hits and struck out 11. Turpin retired the last eight Rebel batters and did not allow a runner past first base after the third inning.

Turpin appeared to get stronger as the game went on and got a pair of defensive gems from Brooke Collins at second base. Collins started a double play in the fourth and made a nice leaping grab to end the sixth.

By that time, though, the only thing in question was the final margin of victory.

E-mail John Herndon at jpherndon@theandersonnews.com.