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‘No quit’ Lady Hawks rally past Bearden in BHS softball opener

While Bearden Softball was dealing with self-proclaimed “first-game jitters,” Hardin Valley Academy displayed a no-quit attitude that has earned a perfect record through Monday.

Rallying from a 3-0 deficit, the Lady Hawks scored seven runs in its last two innings for an 8-5 home victory against the Lady Bulldogs Monday evening, March 21.

Adding a Thursday, March 17 win versus Oliver Springs plus a District 3-AAA victory against Anderson County Friday, the Lady Hawks begin the season 3-0.

Emily Cox, HVA second baseman and one of four Lady Hawks with two hits, said the team “never really let up, and we kept hitting when we needed to. And we made all the plays in the field that we needed to.”

Cox had three RBI, two on a fifth-inning single.

Jasmine Langston, sophomore starting pitcher who also had two hits, said, “I like the fact that we didn't give up and we kept on going.”

HVA head coach Whitney Hickam said her team is “hitting the ball well, they're making up for their mistakes defensively by hitting it. They don't give up. We came from behind against Oliver Springs, too. … We came back and beat them good.

“They don't seem to get down, they always stay up,” Hickam added. “I think they think, 'We can win this game, no matter what.' That's all you can ask.”

Junior catcher McCall Beckler and freshman shortstop/third baseman Liza El-Ajam also had two hits each for HVA.

Beckler added an RBI triple in the Lady Hawks’ three-run sixth inning after El-Ajam singled to begin the inning.

The Lady Hawks’ pitching plan to date is starting Langston “and then when we feel like she's starting to get tired or their starting to get around on her,” in comes reliever Laura Hensley, also a senior shortstop.

Hensley worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the seventh.

“Laura's a smart pitcher and can mix it up,” Hickam said. “She's older and confident; she's getting the job done.”

Langston, who Hickam said “threw a solid six innings” against Anderson County, started and went the first four Monday.

Offensively throughout the Lady Hawks line-up, “One through nine right now, somebody different is stepping up,” Hickam said. “Our two seniors, Lauren and Emily, are hitting well.”

Bearden head coach Leonard Sams said his team was affected by “first-game jitters,” but added, “we really hit the ball well.”

Leading BHS offensively were junior first baseman Sara Burklin and junior catcher Emma Kugler with three hits each. Starting pitcher Jessie Goodson had two.

Sams said his young defense “rushed plays” and made mistakes as a result, but added, “they'll get to point where they relax and just make the plays.”

Kugler said Bearden hitting “is really strong. I'm really proud, I think we hit more this game than we had through all last season.”

Burklin said, “I was clear in my head up at the plate, and just attacking every pitch.”

Burklin's fifth-inning RBI double scored Kiarra Freeman, who singled, giving Bearden a 3-0 lead.

BHS’s Danielle Willis singled and scored on Jenny Parkman's first-inning sacrifice fly. Kugler singled and scored in the fourth.


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