Lady 'Dogs defeated by Central

By Travis Brown
STAR Staff

   Despite overcoming horrid conditions and withstanding a 15-minute rain delay, the Hampton Lady Bulldogs could not defeat their opponent as the Sullivan Central Lady Cougars took home a 19-5 victory on Tuesday afternoon.
   Problems finding the strike zone would plague the Lady Dogs for the majority of the contest, as 17 walks would spell a bitter fate for Hampton.
   Despite the problems throwing strikes, Hampton skipper Patrick Kelly feels that youth and errors are key, "We made to many mistakes today," Kelly said. "Those things just took us out of the game."
   The Cougars got off to an early lead in the top half of the first inning. A walk to Courtney Brickey and a subsequent triple by Sarah Stone would bring home a run. Caitie Munal would sacrifice to bring home another run, and give the Cougars a 2-0 advantage.
   Hampton would strike back in the home half of the first as Joy Gardner delivered a triple of her own, a Central miscue would allow her to score pulling to within one. Hampton would go to the second inning still trailing 2-1.
   Both teams went silently in the second inning as the Bulldogs would strand Mindy Hollaway who got on board with a leadoff single.
   The third inning would bring an irreparable blow to the Bulldogs. After surrendering two consecutive walks, a small rain delay interrupted play, when the teams re-took the field Hampton continued to slip.
   The conditions made it even more difficult to pitch accurately as starter Heather Chambers could not catch a break. Three more walks and then a salvo of base hits cost the Bulldogs nine runs when the dust settled.
   After retiring the side, the Bulldogs could not manage a decisive response in return. Garnder would manufacture a run in the bottom of the third inning and the Bulldogs would bring one more across in the fourth inning.
   After five complete innings, the Bulldogs trailed 16-3 and were showing little sign of improvement. The conditions continued to worsen as the Bulldogs stayed the course into the sixth inning.
   Over the last two innings the Lady Cougars took advantage of a Bulldog throwing error to add three insurance runs to bring the offense to a halt at 19 runs.
   The Lady Dogs would make a modest effort in the home half of the seventh. Two runs would result as consecutive walks from Cougar pitchers would allow Hampton to score.
   Despite the effort, the mountain was simply to tall to climb, as the Bulldogs fell 19-5 in the seven inning exhibition in asininity.
   To Kelly, there is still work to be done to get his team to the level they need to be, "We have a young team," Kelly said. "We are a little inconsistent and we need to get better."