By Tim Branstetter / Staff Writer
WINCHESTER — The North Laurel Minor League All-Stars got going a little too late as their sixth inning rally fell short and they suffered a 5-3 loss to Russell Flatwoods in the state championship game Thursday.
"We didn't get our bats going early," North Laurel coach Shane Brewer said. "They came out, put the ball in play and we misplayed some balls early."
The first two innings looked like a pitcher's dual as North Laurel's Madison McDaniel and Russell Flatwood's Sara Hieneman were pacing their teams in the circle, but North Laurel misplayed a ground ball with two outs on the board and Russell Flatwoods broke the ice with a 1-0 lead. Hieneman lost to North Laurel in the state championship game as a 9-year-old, but was able to redeem herself Thursday.
Russell Flatwoods added two more runs on a single to take a 3-0 lead before North Laurel could get out of the inning.
North Laurel trailed 5-0 after five innings and found themselves down to three outs remaining, but were able to get some offense going in the top of the sixth inning. Madison Sechrest and McDaniel started the sixth inning off with back-to-back singles and they both advanced on a wild pitch. Makenlee Philpot stepped up and drove in Sechrest with an RBI single to give North Laurel its first run of the game.
McDaniel scored on a passed ball and North Laurel managed to close the gap at 5-2. Philpot tried to take advantage of another passed ball, but was called out at home plate. Brewer didn't agree with the call.
"She made it, I seen it perfect," he said. "I was in the first base box, her foot was on the plate and she gets tagged above the knee. I questioned the call and he said she didn't reach home. I showed him where her cleat mark was right on the corner of the plate, but that's ball."
Olivia Miller, Hannah Carson and Emily Albright walked to load the bases for North Laurel with only one out on the board. Beth Marcum stepped to the plate with two outs and was able to walk in a run to close the gap at 5-3, but that was as close as they could get.
"Whoever scores first in games like this gets the momentum," Brewer said. "You have to try to regain it and we didn't regain it until our last at bat. It was a little too late to try to strike. The girls played their hearts out though and they didn't give up."
North Laurel's bid to repeat as state champions comes up short
By Tim Branstetter / Staff Writer
- Local Sports
The Williamsburg Yellow Jackets are partying like it's 1987! That was the last time the Jackets won a game in the 13th Region Tournament, and they ended the 27-year drought with a 47-44 win over the heavily-favored Knox Central Panthers on Thursday night.
Les Dixon's Daily Region Pick'Em
When it comes to picking region tournament games, it’s not an easy task to say the least. This is the most parity that I’ve ever seen in the 13th Region Boys and Girls Tournaments.
If Clay County’s play during the first game of the 13th Region Tournament is any indication of things to come, Robert Marcum’s squad could be well on its way of capturing their second straight 13th Region championship.
The Way it is
Since I’m picking Corbin to pull off the upset against Jackson County today, I figured I’d give my top five upsets dating back to 2005-06 when the 13th realigned and welcomed both North and South Laurel high schools to the mix.
Tony Pietrowski’s Corbin Redhounds have been favored during the past two first round 13th Region match-ups, and have been upset both times. Corbin is hoping things might change a bit this time around.
Barbourville will have hands full against Bell County today
Dinky Phipps’ Barbourville Tigers are looking for their first 13th Region Tournament win dating back to 2006’s tournament when they defeated Clay County in the regional semifinals.
Like It or Not
There’s an elephant in the room at this year’s 13th Region Tournament, and really in basketball in general, and I guess I’ll be the first one to point it out (publicly with my name attached to it).
Chris' Daily Region Pick'Em
With the first three days of opening round games in the books, I can honestly say I'm not surprised that I'm 4-2 overall when it comes to my pick'ems record.
You can never count out the Clay County Lady Tigers when it comes to the 13th Region Tournament.
Les Dixon's Daily Region Pick'em
After going just .500 during the girls games, things are going to get even tougher when it comes to picking the 13th Region Boys Tournament games.
- More Local Sports Headlines
- Knoxed Out