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SHEPHERDSVILLE - The Bullitt Central lady Cougars opened the 2012 season battling two teams from different ends of the talent spectrum last week.
In the opener, coach Buddy Gallemore’s team folded, bent, spindled and mutilated the team from Western High School 16-0. It was a different story on Thursday as the maroon and gray battled tooth and nail against Ballard, the state’s second-ranked team, before falling 3-0.
The game that was focused on for the first week of the season was obviously Ballard. Just a day before, the Lady Bruins had nipped Bullitt East 6-5.
Gallemore doesn’t like to lose, but he was happy with such a strong effort this early in the season.
“We were proud of it, but we are in no way satisfied,” the veteran coach said a few days later. “If we just had a couple of timely hits and one or two less errors and we are in the game.”
It is early in the season for both teams and a lot will change between now and the post-season.
“We’re still shaking the rust off,” Gallemore said. “We missed some signs. If we execute a little better we’ll put a little more pressure on the opposition. That will come as the season goes on.”
Ballard scored single runs in the third, fifth and sixth innings to get out of Shepherdsville with a win. The Lady Bruins collected seven hits off Bullitt Central starter Seaera Minyard and they were helped along by three Lady Cougar errors. In fact, all three of the Ballard runs were unearned.
Minyard, a senior, pitched a complete game, allowing the seven hits. She walked just one and recorded seven strike-outs.
On the other side, Bullitt Central collected just two hits and both of those came off the bat of lead-off hitter Katie Hutchison. The Lady Cougars also had three walks and were hit by a pitch and had base runners in five of the seven innings, but only once did they have a runner reach third base.
It was a very good experience for Bullitt Central to play such a strong team this early in the season.
“We had scrimmaged good teams,” Gallemore said. “It doesn’t really matter what time of the season we play them. I would like another shot at them. I think we’ll be there at the end.”
Earlier in the week Bullitt Central took no prisoners as they beat Western 16-0. That game was stopped after four innings. The Lady Cougars scored seven times in the first inning and were up 10-0 before scoring six times in the fourth.
Gallemore’s team collected ten hits including three hits from sophomore catcher Haley Dukes who had a double and a triple. Minyard also had a triple while both Dana Johnson and Makayla Robinson collected two hits.
Minyard was the winning pitcher as she worked the first three innings and allowed just one hit. She did not walk a batter and struck out seven. Sophomore Hailey Szpila pitched one inning and did not allow a base runner.
The Lady Cougars will head to Bowling Green this weekend to compete in the Lady Spartan Invitational at South Warren High School. The maroon and gray will take on Franklin-Simpson on Friday at 6 p.m. (local time) and will then play Madisonville North-Hopkins at 10 a.m. on Saturday. The event will then go to bracket play on Saturday afternoon.