By Les Dixon / Sports Editor
OLDHAM COUNTY — In the end, North Laurel only needed one run to win the Senior League state championship.
North Laurel’s Austin Rudder led the game off getting hit by a pitch and advanced to second base on a Dylan Messer single and eventually scored on an RBI single by Ray Hays and that’s all North Laurel needed to pull out a 1-0 win over Richmond.
The state championship win advances North Laurel to Central Region play in Peru, Ill.
“This was great,” North Laurel coach Bill Abner said. “Our guys really played well the entire tournament. We will be sending a representative to the Central Region Tournament, but we might not have some of our players because of vacations being taken and football starting up.
“No matter which level you win a state championship at, it’s still big,” he added. “I won one with North Laurel as an assistant softball coach in 2001 and this was just as good. These guys have been playing ball together for 13 years and they have fought and worked hard to get to this point.”
The team won the District 4 championship as 12-year-olds and won the Junior League District 4 Tournament last year before finishing as state runner-up.
“This feels good,” Abner said. “I really thought we were going to score more runs, though. I thought we’d score around 10 because the pitcher Richmond threw was a junk-baller and I thought we’d overpower him, but we didn’t.
“We only had one more hit after the first inning,” he added. “The game lasted only one hour and 10 minutes, so both teams did a great job out there.”
North Laurel received another solid pitching effort from Hays, who pitched a complete game five-hit shut out. He struck out five batters and only walked two batters.
“Ray Hays was sensational out there,” Abner said. “I thought our pitching was what separated us from all the other teams. Hays and Messer did a great job on the mound for us.”
The trio of Hays, Messer and Rudder combined to collect 16 of North Laurel’s 26 hits during All-Star play.
“They really hit the ball well,” Abner said. “They carried us offensively. This was a good experience for everyone and now we’ll see what we can do at the Central Region Tournament. It begins on Aug. 3 and runs through Aug. 7.”
North Laurel captures Senior League All-Star State Title with 1-0 win
By Les Dixon / Sports Editor
- Local Sports
It’s hard to imagine anybody as big as Corbin head coach Jason McDaniel having any trouble filling shoes.
Here we go again
It'll be a matchup between two of the most historic programs in the 13th Region tonight when the Clay County Tigers defend their 13th Region title against the Corbin Redhounds.
The Way It Is
We’re not even through with the 2013-14 season yet, but it’s never too early to talk about next season. Since we’ve crowned a 13th Region champion on the girls’ side of things, let take a glimpse of what might be for the 2014-15 campaign.
Les Dixon's Daily Region Pick'em
Well, here we are, Corbin vs. Clay County for the right to see who will represent the 13th Region next week at Rupp Arena in Lexington.
For the seventh time in the last 10 seasons, the Corbin Redhounds are headed to the 13th Region finals, after their 56-48 win over the Bell County Bobcats in the semi-finals on Saturday.
Like It or Not
I hate to steal an idea, but I guess in the end that's what everyone seems to be doing these days. After reading Les Dixon’s list of what he thought were the top five upsets in recent memory of the 13th Region Tournament, I decided to rank my top five basketball movies in today's column. With that said, here goes.
Williamsburg sees Cinderella run come to an end
For the third straight year, the Clay County Tigers are playing for the 13th Region Championship and the opportunity to play in the Sweet Sixteen at Rupp Arena, after their 79-58 victory over the Williamsburg Yellow Jackets on Saturday.
- 13th Region Tournament Schedule
Clay County, Bell County fall in semifinal round
Both Corbin and Harlan had to withstand battles during the 13th Region semifinals, but when all was said and done, they both won, punching tickets into the finals of the 13th Region Girls Tournament title game.
Pick Up Game
Six straight 50th District titles and a 10-game winning streak were not enough to place the Corbin Redhounds as the favorite heading into their matchup with the Jackson County Generals in the first round of the 13th Region Tournament.
- More Local Sports Headlines
- Sunday Best