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One big hit changed the Lady Rockets’ game at Anderson County on Thursday.
Anderson County’s Courtney Turpin ripped a shot over the left-field fence with the bases loaded to give Anderson a 4-0 lead in the second inning and that proved to be enough to beat the Lady Rockets, 6-1.
The Lady Rockets (4-1) got one run back in the top of the sixth, when Hannah Abbott ripped Turpin’s pitch over the left-field fence for a solo home run.
But Anderson (4-4) tacked on insurance runs in the fifth and sixth, to set the final score.
“Defensively we were pretty good, but overall I thought we played poorly,” SCHS Coach Kelly Cable said. “I didn’t think we were mentally prepared for the game. I felt like we came in listening to all the hype: how well we were playing, how down Anderson is this year and how they weren’t playing well.
“We thought it was going to be a cakewalk, and it rocked us back a little. Hopefully it’s a wake up call for us.”
The Lady Rockets mustered just three this in the game, something Cable said would have to change.
“She [Turpin] was definitely the best pitcher we’ve seen this year,” Cable said. “But we’ve hit her better in the past, that’s why I didn’t think we were mentally prepared for this game.”
The game also gave Anderson County the lead in the race for the district’s top seeding. Though Shelby and Anderson will play again in a week, the first meeting was the seeding game for the district tournament. The Lady Rockets and Lady Bearcats are the favorites to win the 31st District and the 8th Region titles.
However, Cable said the district seed isn’t that important.
“Of course we wanted to win, but this doesn’t really make that much of a difference,” Cable said. “Actually, I think we’ll be better off because Spencer County will give us a better game and be better preparation in the district. I think we’ll be better prepared when we see them again.”
The one bright spot from the game was Abbott’s home run, and Cable said you could see something big coming from her sophomore outfielder.
“She’s worked really hard, and she’s done some extra hitting on her own time,” Cable said. “She’s always seen the ball well, but now she’s changed her stance, and it’s paid off. She had a big game for us, going two for three with the home run.”
The Lady Rockets got the start of spring break off before they get back on the field to prepare for the Apollo round robin tournament this weekend.
“I think we’ll be fine,” Cable said. “We made a couple of mental errors, but no physical, actual errors. They’ll be refreshed and refocused when they come back.”