The McLean County High School softball team opened the 2023 season with a big 17-2 win over Warren Central in just four and a half innings on March 13. The Lady Cougars fell 12-2 at Whitesville Trinity on March 14 and lost 21-0 to Webster County at home on March 16.

McLean County fired up the offense right out of the gate last Monday, scoring five runs in the first inning against the Lady Dragons. They kept after it in the second and plated four runs before adding eight more in the fourth to finish off the victory.

Amber Willis took the win for the Lady Cougars. The right-hander allowed three hits and two runs over four innings, striking out three.

McLean County racked up 12 hits on the day. Willis, Abby Walker and Ava Lannum all had three hits to lead the Lady Cougars at the plate. Walker had a double and a homerun with four RBIs. Willis had two triples with five RBIs and a stolen base. Lannum had three singles while Emma Miller had a double and stole a base. Leah Searcy had two hits in the game.

Emma Miller had the most chances in the field with seven at first base. Miller had zero errors with all seven putouts.

Catcher Leah Searcy allowed no passed balls and zero stolen bases on the night. Searcy successfully threw out two runners attempting to steal second base.

McLean County scored two runs in the first inning against the Lady Raiders, but ultimately fell 12-2 in Whitesville last Tuesday.

Amber Willis was in the circle for the Lady Cougars. The pitcher allowed 10 hits and 12 runs over four innings.

Willis had a double with an RBI in the game. Ava Lannum and Aubrey Logsdon also had one hit each.

Emma Miller had the most chances in the field with six. Miller had all six putouts at first base with no errors.

McLean County struggled to put runs on the board and had a tough time defensively containing Webster County at home last Thursday. The Lady Cougars lost 21-0 to the visiting team.

Amber Willis took the loss for McLean County. Willis lasted four and a third innings, allowing 12 hits and 18 runs while striking out one.

“For the first week as a whole we saw some really good things to build on,” shared head coach Brad Baird. “Defensively, we only have two starters back in the same position they played last year, so we are still trying to figure things out. Offensively, we came out aggressive at the plate against Warren Central and hit the ball extremely well. At Trinity we had the same approach, but it seemed every hit was right at someone.”

Baird shared some thoughts on a few key players from the week.

“Abby Walker is a great addition. She is a power hitter who can play multiple defensive positions,” he said. “Amber Willis has taken over in the circle this season and has pitched well. Leah Searcy is back behind the plate again and has been solid as always.”

This group of girls has a lot of potential, enjoy being around each other and playing together, according to Baird.

“We will continue to work hard, make adjustments and we expect to have a great season,” he said.

The Lady Cougars will spend the next several games at home, beginning with a matchup against Union County tonight, March 23, at 6 p.m. McLean County will host Owensboro on Friday at 5:30 p.m. followed by a 1 p.m. game against Hopkinsville on Saturday.

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