By Les Dixon / Staff Writer
OWENSBORO — The lack of timely hits, and some missed opportunities played a big role in South Laurel’s elimination in the KHSAA Fastpitch State Tournament Friday.
After defeating George Rogers Clark, 5-2, on Thursday to advance to quarterfinal action, the Lady Cardinals found themselves in a battle with No. 5 ranked Scott County.
James Burns’ squad had bases loaded with two outs in a scoreless game in the bottom of the fifth inning, but couldn’t push a run across — and Scott County made them pay.
The state’s No. 5 ranked team hit a home run to take a 1-0 edge in the sixth inning, and took advantage of some errors in the seventh inning to pull out a 6-0 win.
South Laurel ran into the state’s top home run hitting team in the loser’s bracket during its 11-1 sixth inning loss to Madisonville North.
The Lady Maroons connected with three home runs in the win while limiting the Lady Cardinals to only five hits.
“One through nine, they can hit,” South Laurel coach James Burns said. “Those home runs weren’t cheap ones. But what killed us was our bunt coverage.”
Burns pointed out the close loss to Scott County, and a two-hour wait to play again might have played a role in his team’s slow start against Madisonville North.
“We didn’t come out really focused,” he said. “We didn’t play really well. But we never gave up, and we kept battling.”
Despite seeing his team’s season come to an end, Burns was pleased with his team’s 32-10 campaign, that included winning the 50th District championship along with the Lady Cardinals’ second straight 13th Region title.
“This was a great experience,” he said. “We won a lot of games we shouldn’t have, and we lost a lot of games we shouldn’t. I’m extremely proud of the girls. (We have) a lot to build on. I’m looking forward to it. This was a great experience and a good experience for our younger girls.”
Scott County 6, South Laurel 0
South Laurel hung tough against the state’s No. 5 ranked team, and had a chance to take control of the game in the bottom of the fifth inning.
The Lady Cardinals failed to take advantage of a bases loaded situation during their half of the fifth, and Scott County proceeded by hitting a home run in the top of the sixth inning while taking advantage of some miscues in the top of the seventh inning. A three-run home run by Samantha Luckett wrapped up the win.
South Laurel was outhit 11-4, but only made one error in the loss.
“There is a reason they are ranked fifth in the state,” Burns said. “They are good. The turning point of the game is having the bases loaded and we didn’t score. If we could have scratched a few runs there, it could make the difference.”
Madyson Morris, Nell Murray, Destiney Salva, and Kaylee Norvell each had hits while Hagan Burns took the loss on the mound, surrendering 10 hits and six runs.
Loser’s bracket second round
Madisonville-North Hopkins 11,
South Laurel 1
The Lady Maroons scored a run in the first inning and added five more in the second inning and never looked back, as they cruised to the easy 11-1 win.
Haley Shelby and Makenzie Powenski led the way with two hits apiece while Shelby drove in South Laurel’s lone run.
Hagan Burns took the loss on the mound, surrendering three earned runs and six hits in two innings of work.