MOREHEAD – The 13th Region used its offensive prowess to string together key hits when needed en route to claiming the title at the Southeastern Softball Showcase, the annual tournament featuring All-Star teams comprised of juniors and seniors from the 13th, 14th, 15th and 16th Regions, which took place on Wednesday at Rowan County.
In their two games, the victors proved they could win in a variety of ways. In the first-round contest against the 14th Region, the 13th scored three times in the eighth inning to rally to a 5-2 victory. Then, in the finals, it pulled ahead 4-0 and held off the 16th Region to capture the crown, 5-3.
Over its two games, the 13th Region collected a tournament-high 18 hits, while committing a tournament- low three errors. The 16th Region closed the margin to 4-2 in the bottom of third inning. Bath County’s McKenna Moore beat out an infield single and moved to third after a throwing error during Boyd County senior Bekah Badgett’s at-bat. Moore eventually scored on a wild pitch, while Badgett came home on a sacrifice fly from Rowan County’s Elaina Ward.
Both teams added a run in the fourth. Clay County’s Shelby Sowders hit a solo home run over the left-field fence and Ashland senior Zoë Ingram drove home courtesy runner Grace Osborn (Russell) with a double down the left-field line.
That score held up over the final three innings as relief pitchers Ashland’s Mykayla Akers and Shope only allowed their opponents to put a pair of runners on base the rest of the way.
In the third-place game, the 15th Region scored five runs in the first, that included a two-run homer by Magoffin County’s Erin Bolen, and held off the 14th Region to gain a 9-6 victory. The 14th drew within a run at 7-6 after the fourth inning, but a two-run homer from Johnson Central’s Alyssa Hedrick in the sixth sealed the win.
Lawrence County’s Mackenzie Methax led the offense with a 3-for-4 performance at the plate. Pikeville’s Olivia Whitfield and Thomas
each added a pair of hits. Letcher County Central’s Alyssa Franklin and Perry County Central’s Jamie Pollard finished with two hits apiece for the 14th Region.
In the day’s first game, the 16th Region scored four runs over the final two innings to snatch a victory away from the 15th. Raceland’s Emily Johnson and Morgan County’s Lyndsey Adkins had a pair of doubles in the sixth inning to begin the rally. Raceland’s Rylee Austin led off the seventh with a single, then Ingram drew a walk and Rowan County’s Macy Jones loaded the bases with a single, before Akers pushed the tying run across the plate with another single. East Carter’s Graycee Castle helped provide the final margin by reaching base on an error that scored Ingram.
The second semifinal saw the 13th Region score three times in the top of the eighth to claim a 5-2 victory over the 14th Region.
15th Futures stand out
MOREHEAD – Weather-related issues condensed Tuesday’s schedule for the inaugural Futures competition of the annual Southeastern Softball Showcase to just two games, but as in past years the 15th Region All-Stars proved tough to beat.
In the opening contest, the 15th Region took advantage of miscues to score four runs in the top of the seventh and claim a come-from-behind 4-2 victory over the host 16th Region.
Most of the game was a pitcher’s duel. Lewis County’s Emily Cole allowed one hit through three innings and struck out five as the 16th Region starter. East Carter’s Sky Bloemer also threw three scoreless and hitless innings in relief.
Playing on her home field, Rowan County’s Haven Ford opened the scoring with her solo home run over the center-field fence in the bottom of the fourth. Raceland’s Kierston Smith singled to lead off the sixth inning for the 16th and came home two batters later on high school teammate Chloe Collins’ double to center field.