By Les Dixon / Sports Editor
NORTH LAUREL — It took the North Laurel All-Stars Minor League fastpitch squad two innings to get things going against Pulaski County in the District 4 title game Saturday, but once they did, they were hard to stop.
Jon Sizemore’s squad broke open a 0-0 tie in the third inning by scoring six runs and added seven more in the fourth inning to capture their second straight 9-10 year-old District 4 championship by defeating the Pulaski County All-Stars, 13-1.
North Laurel cruised past its competition the entire week in the tournament and will now try to make a run beginning July 6 at the state level.
“This was a great run for us,” Sizemore said. “I’m tickled to death with the girls. We had good hitting, good pitching and good defense. When you have all three of those and add them together, you’re going to be tough to beat.
“We never really felt like we were behind any at all during the tournament the entire week,” he added. “The girls came ready to play and they showed that this past week.”
Pitcher Daria Casey was a big reason why opposing teams couldn’t get anything going against North Laurel. She was tough in the circle the entire tournament and continued her domination against Pulaski County. She limited her opponent Saturday to no runs in three innings of work while striking out six batters and allowing no hits and only one walk during the process. Maddie Dagley pitched the final inning of play for North Laurel and struck out two batters.
“We received great hitting and pitching out there. Our hitting and pitching out there was great,” Sizemore said. “Daria pitched great for us this tournament and when the few times the other teams put the bat on the ball, we made the plays.
“Daria pitched excellent every game, all week long, and when Maddie came in for us, she always closed things out for us,” he added. “I’m really proud of all of the girls.”
Sizemore admitted his team’s slow start at the plate was maybe because of his team battling a case of early game nerves while trying to get used to Pulaski County’s pitcher.
“We might have been nervous just a bit because it was the finals of the tournament,” he said. “I also thought we were trying to get used to the pitcher early on, but after we went through the line-up, we were fine.”
Emily Sizemore got things going in the third inning after consecutive walks put runners on first and second. Her single scored the game’s first run and that’s when North Laurel began to take control. Casey added two-run double in the inning and by the time the inning had ended, North Laurel held a comfortable 6-0 lead.
Sizemore’s squad put the game away the following inning with seven runs, as Sizemore, Dagley, Kambrie Collier, Haven Houston and Casey each delivered run-scoring hits to give their team a 13-0 edge.
Pulaski County tried to rally in the bottom of the fourth inning, but could only push across one run.
“Once we settled in and got some runs and some base runners on, we just started to score,” Sizemore said. “This is a good team. I like our chances at state. If we come ready to play, I do like our chances. We have a good team that can pitch, play defense and hit the ball.”
North Laurel Minor League All-Stars capture second straight District 4 title
By Les Dixon / Sports Editor
- 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.
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