Starting to click: Boyd puts together complete game to defeat Bulldogs

LOUISA Boyd County coach Lance Seasor has talked for weeks about wanting to see his crew put together a full game.

He knew his team could get the job done hitting, pitching, and fielding, but he felt like it was never happening all in the same game.

Monday night, it looked like it came together.

“It seems like we turned the corner a little bit this weekend down in Lexington,” Seasor said. “The attitudes are good. Everybody’s wanting to be here and you can see it in our last few games that we’ve played. We’re a lot better offensively and our approach to the plate is getting better. Elyn (Simpkins) pitched wonderful tonight, and our defense played a great game and had her back. When we play a complete game, we’re a pretty good team.”

The Lions took down Lawrence County on the road for a 10-5 win to improve to 17-17 on the year.

“Elyn Simpkins threw a gem for Boyd County tonight,” Lawrence County coach Justin Adkins said. “That’s really what made the difference here tonight. She’s a really good kid. I’ve coached and played with those girls over there for many years so I knew what to expect. Any ball we hit went right at them. Elyn was great mixing speeds and got us off balance all night.”

The loss to Boyd County is just the fourth this season for the Bulldogs, who are undefeated in 15th Region matchups.

It was the first loss in five tries for Lawrence County against 16th Region competition.

“It means a ton to our team and our girls,” Seasor said of his team defeating a top-notch opponent. “They see what they’re capable of. I couldn’t be happier with the way they performed. Justin has done a great job here with Lawrence County. He’s got a solid team over there. They’re going to make a lot of people worry in the 15th Region.”

The Lions got hot in the second inning, batting through the lineup to put up six runs on as many hits.

Lacyn Black got the runs rolling with a blast to the left field fence that drove in Kaylee May, who was running for Brooke Jacobs.

A few pitches later, Grace Stephens stole home on a passed ball.

Elise Sparks batted in Black with a single. Sparks would get herself home with an RBI single from Jadyn Goad.

On the next at-bat, Savanna Henderson blasted a double into deep left field that brought Elyn Simpkins to the plate.

Jaycie Goad rounded out the scoring with a sacrifice fly that got her sister home.

Suddenly down 6-0, Abby Nelson led off for the Bulldogs in the bottom of the second and decided to get her team on the board with a solo home run over the center field fence.

Lawrence County strung together a couple more hits, but Simpkins got Boyd County out of the jam by striking out the last two batters of the frame to keep a 6-1 lead.

“Elyn is so good for such a young age,” Seasor said. “Her control is top notch and when she’s on her game, she can put the ball anywhere she wants and when she’s doing that, I have that utmost confidence in her.”

The Lions kept the momentum from the second inning going into the third. Kyli Kouns and Stephens were on the base paths and scored after a throwing error.

Nelson launched another solo homer to start the fourth frame that landed over the parking lot behind left field.

“It’s been coming for her,” Adkins said. “She’s just barely been missing the last few games. She was in a great mindset today. She saw the ball well coming out and yacked a couple out of here. They were no-doubters.”

Lawrence County was able to build on that home run this time.

Abby Maynard drove home Addalyn Woods and a sac fly from Bree Jones plated Taylor Blevins to cut Boyd County’s lead in half to 8-4.

“I don’t think it’s the worst thing in the world that we got punched in the mouth here tonight,” Adkins said. “It’s just time to regroup. With all the cancellations because of rain, it’s hard to keep these kids sharp. In the past two weeks, we’ve only played a handful of games. But we’re going to do our best to go back to basics and get back at it.”

The Lions got one back in the top of the fifth when a bunt from Jadyn Goad traveled perfectly between three Bulldog infielders, allowing her to reach safely and bring home Sparks.

Boyd County tacked on another run in the top of the sixth with a bases-loaded hit batsman.

Both teams were held quiet in the bottom of the sixth and top of the seventh, which put the Bulldogs in an 11-4 hole.

Jada Patton hit a line drive into right field for a standup double that drove in Dani Crum to get one back late.

Unfortunately for the home team, Patton was caught trying to advance to third on the hit for the second out of the seventh frame.

Simpkins struck out the final batter of the ball game to seal the win for the Lions.

Simpkins finished the game with six strikeouts and recorded three hits from the plate including the late RBI double.

As a team, Boyd County finished the contest with 16 hits from eight different batters, with six getting an RBI. Jaycie Goad had two RBIs.

“I’d like to see us keep this momentum going,” Seasor said. “Not really have a letdown after a big win like this, just keep it rolling. We have a game Thursday against Johnson Central, Friday against East Carter, and right into next week when we play our district game. I’d like to see us keep rolling through all of it.”

Nelson and Blevins each batted in two runs for the Bulldogs.

“We’re really just trying to put everything together for the postseason,” Adkins said. “That’s why you play these teams, trying to get better. It’s the same thing Boyd is trying to do and I feel like both teams got better because of this game. We’re both really young and looking to do well for a long time.”

BOYD CO. 062 011 0 — 10 16 1

LAWRENCE CO. 010 301 1 — 5 10 1

Simpkins and Henderson; Ellis, Blevins (4) and Crum. W — Simpkins. L -Ellis. 2B — Henderson (BC), Sparks (BC), Simpkins (BC), Patton (LC). HR — Nelson 2 (LC).