Diamond sports move into post-season today

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By Mike Farner

 SHEPHERDSVILLE - The Bullitt East Charger baseball program will go for an unprecedented eighth straight district baseball title as the post-season gets underway with the 24th District Tournament at Southern High School.

The fields at Southern will also be the site for the girls’ 24th District Softball Tournament.

Both tournaments will start on Monday and with weather permitting, will conclude on Wednesday with the softball final starting at 5:30 p.m. and the baseball final at 6 p.m.

As in the past, the top two teams in each tournament will advance to next week’s Sixth Regional tournaments.

Baseball Tournament

Bullitt East has the best record and the top seed heading into this week’s tournament, but the Chargers do have a 3-0 loss to North Bullitt on their resume from back on April 19. The Chargers rallied to get the top seed with a 10-0 win over Southern two days before the host school beat North Bullitt 4-3.

The Chargers have been playing well since that game and finished the regular season with wins in 10 of their last 13 games. Last Thursday, the red and gold turned back Ballard, the state’s 14th-ranked team, by a 4-3 score.

Bullitt East will play at 5 p.m. on Tuesday against the winner of the Bullitt Central-Fairdale game which will be played on Monday at 6 p.m. The Chargers beat both of those teams during the regular season by a combined 22-2 count.

North Bullitt has the number two seed, but since beating Bullitt East a month ago, the Eagles have struggled to find enough offense to win games. The green and gold recently suffered through a five game losing streak that saw what had been a strong pitching team give up at least nine runs in each outing. Head coach Brian Wise hopes that the team righted the late-season programs on Saturday with a 15-3 victory over John Hardin.

Bullitt Central has the fifth-seed and will contest the ‘feed-in’ game for the sixth straight season. Still, the Cougars only lost to Fairdale and Southern in single run games that needed extra innings.

Softball Action

For the first time since the Bullitt County teams were realigned into the 24th District with Fairdale and Southern in 2005, none of the three local teams will be playing on Monday. That mark includes basketball as well as softball and baseball.

Bullitt East is the defending district champion and reached the Sixth Region championship game a year ago.

This year, coach Ricky Hoffman’s team has the second most wins in the Sixth Region with a 24-10 mark and the red and gold showed their strength on Thursday, losing a 1-0 decision to Ballard, the state’s top-ranked team.

Still, Bullitt East only beat Bullitt Central 4-3 when Lady Cougar pitcher Seaera Minyard recorded 14 strike-outs and they trailed North Bullitt 3-2 midway through that meeting in early May before winning the game 6-3. On the other hand, the Lady Chargers did not give up a run in beating Southern and Fairdale this spring.

The second game on Tuesday could be a lot closer than the records would indicate. North Bullitt actually has the fewest wins of any team in the district, but that is more because of the tough schedule coach Eric Lambert’s team has faced this season.

The Lady Eagles only have six victories and two of those were blow-out wins over Fairdale and Southern. North Bullitt lost to Bullitt Central 6-4 in their regular season meeting in a game that saw two runs erased on a base-running call. The Lady Eagles had the tying run at the plate when the game ended.

Since spring break, neither Bullitt East nor Bullitt Central has given up more than four runs in a game to a Kentucky opponent.