BELFRY - Reigning 15th Region champion Magoffin County won its season-opener on Tuesday, March 18, upending host Belfry 14-3.
The Lady Hornets scored 14 runs on 15 hits and turned in a solid defensive performance.
Magoffin County sophomore pitcher Hannah Skaggs earned the win. Skaggs, one of the top high school softball pitchers in Eastern Kentucky, registered 12 strikeouts in five innings. Laylee Burchell, a talented young freshman, also pitched for Magoffin County in the season-opener. In two innings of work, Burchell struck out a pair of Belfry batters.
Magoffin County limited Belfry throughout the game. The two Magoffin County pitchers combined to toss a three-hitter.
The Lady Hornets scored first and never trailed. Following a scoreless first inning, Magoffin County secured a huge lead in the second inning, scoring nine runs.
The Lady Hornets held a 9-0 advantage until the bottom half of the fourth inning when Belfry answered with two runs of its own.
Magoffin County, however, managed to get the runs back. The Lady Hornets pushed two more runs across in the fifth inning.
After holding Belfry scoreless in back-to-back at-bats, Magoffin County stretched its lead by scoring three runs in the seventh inning.
Prior to falling short, Belfry manufactured one run in the bottom half of the final frame.
Jazzy Howard, Mahallie Ratliff and Darci Arnett each had three hits for the Lady Hornets. Leslee Howard followed, adding two hits for Magoffin County in the win.
Burchell, Skaggs, Alyssa Kennard, Erin Bolen and Kia Bolen each had one hit for the Lady Hornets.
Skaggs and Ratliff delivered three RBIs apiece in the victory. Burchell and Jazzy Howard drove in two runs apiece for the Magoffin County softball team.
Arnett, a University of the Cumberlands recruit, added a double for the Lady Hornets
Defensively, Magoffin County committed one error.
The Lady Hornets are scheduled to host Belfry on May 6.