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SHEPHERDSVILLE – In a battle between two top-20 softball teams in the state, it was Bullitt East who would take advantage of some miscues and clutch pitching to defeat the Ryle Raiders to earn the Jewish Hospital Medical Center South/KentuckyOne Health Bullitt County Invitational Tournament crown.
This was only the second time in the last four years that the event co-hosted by Bullitt Central and Bullitt East has presented a winning trophy because bad weather kept teams off the field. That was almost the case again this year as play on Friday night was cancelled because of rain the night before.
That forced a change in the tournament format with each team in the two, three-team pools, played each other. After that, the two pool winners met for the title instead of there being bracket play. The two pool runners-up met for third place, a title claimed by Bullitt Central.
Bullitt East went 2-0 in pool play, routing both Bethlehem and Fairdale, allowing only one run. Ryle got to the final after slipping past Bullitt Central 5-3 in pool play.
Late on Saturday, Bullitt East (20-1) jumped on top early and never looked back against Ryle.
Pitcher Morgan Raymer got all the help she would need in the first inning. And, the pitcher definitely helped herself in that opening frame.
Senior speedster Nikki Hinkley got the game started with a ball to third base which was mishandled. By the time Ryle could get the ball back into play, the senior center-fielder was standing at third base.
Raymer then put a jolt into the ball and lifted it over the left-field fence for a quick 2-0 lead.
That would be all the junior pitcher would need as Bullitt East claimed the tile with a 7-0 victory.
The final score was a bit deceptive as it wouldn’t be until the sixth inning that the Lady Chargers could get another run off junior Ali Crupper.
In the sixth, Grason Gasser reached on an error. Katlyn Scott’s bunt single was followed by Lindsey Renneisen's RBI single to center.
To give Raymer a little more breathing room, Bullitt East would score four times in the seventh. Emily Salyer doubled and Bri Hare walked. Hinkley followed with an RBI single to center and Raymer and Taylor Alvey followed with sacrifice flies. Gasser’s single drove in the final run.
Bullitt East finished with ten hits in the game including four off the bat of Hinkley. Raymer had two hits.
In the circle, Raymer allowed just two hits while striking out 12. The junior did walk three batters.
In the two early games, Bullitt East rolled past Fairdale 5-0 as sophomore Loren Roby threw a no-hitter with seven strike-outs and one walk.
The Lady Chargers also flew past Bethlehem 13-1 in a five-inning game. Raymer was the winning pitcher and she was helped by a home run from Alvey as well as having two doubles herself. Kelsey Gravens and Lindsey Renneisen also doubled in the win.
BC finishes third
After losing a tough pool play game against Ryle, Bullitt Central came back to claim third place with a 7-1 victory over Bethlehem.
Using speed, coach Buddy Gallemore saw Darian Deaver steal second base after drawing a first inning walk. On the steal, the throw went into the outfield and Deaver scored.
In the second inning, the Lady Cougars put two more runs on the board. Brooklyn Benefield singled and Mackenzie Pruitt followed with a bunt single before Sarah Noble loaded with bases with a single to left.
Deaver’s infield single drove home a run and pitcher Hailey Szpila drew a walk to score the third run of the game.
That’s all Szpila would need as she shut down Bethlehem to a single run on three hits in the third inning.
Bullitt Central busted the game open in the fourth inning.
Noble, Deaver and Szpila each singled. Haley Dukes followed with an RBI double. And the final run scored on Belle Leonard’s fielder’s choice.