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Late uprising lifts East past North in softball 6-3

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Softball

By Mike Farner

 MOUNT WASHINGTON - Trailing 3-2 midway through the fourth inning, the Bullitt East Lady Chargers once again found a win to win, scoring three times in the bottom of the fourth and then adding a solo home run in the sixth to beat 24th District rival North Bullitt 6-3 on Wednesday.

The game had been pushed back two days because of poor weather.

After North Bullitt had taken the lead with three runs in the top of the fourth, Bullitt East quickly regained the lead with three runs in the bottom of the fourth fueled by a bases loaded single by Kayla Raymer that put the red and gold ahead for good.

The big inning started with an out before freshman Bri Hare walked in the number nine batting spot. Lead-off hitter Kaylee McClure then hit a chopper back to pitcher Shelby Crenshaw, but after a moment of hesitation, her throw to second was wide. Still, Crenshaw appeared to get out of trouble when she struck-out Morgan Raymer for the second out of the inning.

That brought the heart of the Bullitt East line-up to the plate. Rachel Simms was walked to load the bases and then clean-up hitter Kirsten Price was walked on four straight pitches, forcing in the tying run.

While Simms and Price are in the big-hitting positions, the two walks brought freshman Kayla Raymer to the plate. She has had the hottest bat for the Lady Chargers over the previous two weeks and she smashed a shot to left-center field that brought home a pair of runs, giving Bullitt East the lead for good.

“That was the key to the game,” Bullitt East head coach Ricky Hoffman said of walking the two big bats and ten Raymer coming through in the clutch. “We want runners on base with Kayla coming to the plate. She has had a lot of hits at the right time for us.”

North Bullitt head coach Eric Lambert said that his team was not looking to pitch around the number three and four hitters.

“We weren’t trying to pitch around either one of them,” Lambert pointed out. “We had trouble hitting our spots. We let them on and then credit them for the hit.”

Raymer added a solo home run in the bottom of the sixth inning to account for the final score.

Bullitt East had just five hits in the game off the pitching combination of Elise Mills and Crenshaw. The Lady Chargers scored a run in the first when Simms singled before her courtesy runner, Nikki Hinkley, moved up on a wild pitch. Hinkley then scored on Kirsten Price’s single.

In the third inning, Simms and Kirsten Price opened the inning with each being hit by a pitch. Hinkley then scored again when Taylor Price laid down a sacrifice.

North Bullitt erased that lead with a big fourth inning. The Lady Eagles had just four hits in the game off Bullitt East pitch Jamie Lutes, but three of those came in the fourth frame. Jordan Vorbrink led off the inning with a single and later stole second, but Lutes got the next two batters out before walking Darian Davenport.

Megan Allen then lined a shot back up the middle that hit off Lutes’ glove for an infield single to plate the first run. Carly Benz followed that with a double to the centerfield fence that scored two more runs.

Lutes allowed just the four hits as she struck out 13 batters.

With the win, Bullitt East moved to 4-0 in district play and wrapped up the number one seed for the post-season tournament. Bullitt Central was assured the number two spot with North Bullitt’s loss.

North Bullitt can still avoid the opening round game if they can beat Fairdale next Monday in a make-up game that will be at home and will start at 4:30 p.m.

The Lady Eagles did get to play a second game last week as Lambert added a late game with Christian Academy of Louisville on Thursday. North Bullitt fell behind 3-0 in the first inning and could not bounce back, falling 8-0.

“We’ve been inconsistent with the bats all year,” the coach said. “We’re not very disciplined swinging at strikes. That puts pressure on us.”

Bullitt East picked up a win on Thursday against South Oldham behind the pitching of Morgan Raymer who allowed just three hits as the red and gold snagged a 4-1 win.

The Lady Chargers had eight hits including two each from Kirsten Price and Lutes.

Bullitt East then traveled to Harrison County on Saturday for a small tournament that Hoffman added just a week earlier after all the rain canceled so many games. That decision worked out just fine as the red and gold swept to the title with four straight wins.

In the opener, Bullitt East turned back Bourbon County 8-0 as Morgan Raymer allowed only one hit in seven innings. That hit did not come until there were two outs in the fifth inning.

Kirsten Price blasted a home run for the Lady Chargers and had two hits as did Morgan Raymer.

It was then a very tight game on Friday night before Bullitt East beat Harrison County 2-1. Eighth-grader Loren Roby got the win as she allowed just two hits.

Kaylee McClure led Bullitt East’s offense with three hits including a triple.

After Harrison County won a game in the elimination portion of the tournament, they faced Bullitt East again. The outcome was the same as Bullitt East won 2-1 with a pair of runs coming in the bottom of the sixth and final inning.

With one out in the sixth, Kayla Raymer singled home the first run and then after an out, Jessica Hanna plated the winning run with a single.

Bullitt East had just five hits in the game with two of those by Kayla Raymer.

Morgan Raymer was the winning pitcher, allowing just three hits.

That set up another rematch in the championship game as the Lady Chargers faced Bourbon County again. This time Bullitt East jumped on top 5-1 after three innings and rolled to a 6-3 victory.

Lutes got the start in this game and worked all seven innings for the win. Bullitt East’s offense answered with six hits including a triple by McClure and a double by Simms. More Raymer had two of the hits.

“That was a good tournament win,” Hoffman said of his team moving to 20-6 for the season. “We had good pitching and our hitting started to come around. We faced some good teams.”