Russell settles in at Rowan



haven layne - 4/10 
Russell’s Haven Layne winds up to deliver a pitch against Rowan County on Monday in Morehead. The Lady Devils won, 12-4.

 grace osborn - 4/10
The Lady Devils’ Grace Osborn hits a drive to the Rowan County outfield.


MOREHEAD There was a ball of confusion Monday.

Rowan County softball coach Larry Slone told Russell’s Terry Callihan the Lady Vikings’ field was unplayable and asked if their game could be moved to Flatwoods. Callihan said that was fine, but later Slone said his field was in better shape than he thought, and the game was back in Morehead.

By the end of the game, the Lady Devils infused a dugout-full of calm and clarity: a 12-4 runaway.

To quote in part from The Temptations’ 1971 song … “And the band played on … Great googa mooga.”

Four pupil-popping cardinal numbers were worth quantifying: Russell’s 19 hits; 5-for-5, the number of knocks collected by center fielder Madison Darnell and left fielder Makayla Fraley; four, the number of times Darnell and Fraley scored; and three, the number of consecutive Lady Devils losses in Morehead since 2014 — a skid that was snapped.

Neither Darnell nor Fraley (whose two-run double to center field was the game’s only extra-base hit) had been so perfect.

“I think I just really wanted to do well,” Fraley said. “We don’t really get the chance to come out (to Rowan County) a lot, so I wanted to show up and do good for my team.”

Maybe Russell should go to Myrtle Beach every year. The Lady Devils (6-3) won five of seven at the Cal Ripken Experience.

“Nervousness” is how Russell coach Terry Callihan described the first four contests, which included just one win.

“And when girls are nervous and kids are nervous, they don’t have fun,” Callihan said. “When you take the nervousness out, the fun comes around.”

Rowan County fell to 3-1 on Monday. Slone “wasn’t terribly upset” with what happened.

“(Russell is) ahead of us,” Slone said. “They deserved to win the ball game. And they hit it well and pitched well. … We threw it all over the place. We’ve gotta catch the ball.”

Things were downright fragrant on the Lady Vikings’ first trip to the plate: right fielder Sarah Hallock and center fielder Janae Graham both scored on an error.

Russell broke out a kind of softball Chanel No. 5 in thesecond frame — three runs on a Lady Viking faux pas and singles from Fraley, Haven Layne and Camryn Ratliff.

The Lady Devils followed with seven more runs on 12 hits in the fifth, sixth and seventh.

And thus Russell answered Callihan’s plea: just have fun.

“I think, if you get down on yourself, you start doin’ bad,” Fraley said, “so I think our No. 1 motto is to have fun and smile, ’cause we all play better when we smile.”

RUSSELL 032 023 2—12191 ROWANCO. 201 001 0— 4 7 3 Layne and Ratliff; Jones, Wilburn (6) and Frazier. W—Layne. L—Jones. 2B—Fraley (R).

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