SHEPHERDSVILLE - Bullitt Central and Bullitt East both continued to be peaking at the right time of the season as the high school softball campaign enters the final week of the regular season.
Those two teams have the top two seeds for the 24th District Tournament which will be played at Southern starting on Monday. For the first time since realignment six years ago for softball, baseball and basketball, no Bullitt County team will play on that first day of the event.
Bullitt East has the number one seed and will play Tuesday at 5 p.m. against the winner of the feed-in game between Fairdale and Southern. Bullitt Central will then take on North Bullitt at 7 p.m.
The championship game is set for Wednesday at 5:30 p.m.
BC Splits, then Wins
Early last week, the Bullitt Central lady Cougars split a pair of 2-1 decisions before finding some offense later in the week to shut-out South Oldham and the Atherton.
The week started with a 2-1 victory over North Oldham. Neither team scored through the first five innings before the visitors scored a run in the top of the sixth. Bullitt Central then rallied with two runs to secure the win.
Lady Cougar pitcher Seaera Minyard started out what would be a strong week by allowing only three hits. The one run was unearned as Minyard finished with 11 strikeouts.
Bullitt Central had only one hit through the first five innings, but then had three hits in the sixth inning. Sarah Spurling opened the frame with a single and after a sacrifice by Rachel Basil, Minyard doubled home the tying run. After Minyard stole second, Dana Johnson grounded out to the second baseman to plate the go-ahead run.
The final score was the same on Tuesday, but this time the Lady Cougars were on the short end of a 2-1 decision to North Hardin in a game that didn’t end until the 10th inning.
In that 10th inning, the game went to the international rule where each team started the inning with a runner on second base. Bullitt Central left runners on second and third in the top of the inning and then North Hardin won with a ground out and a wild pitch.
Minyard took the loss as she allowed eight hits. The junior struck out 12 and only one of the runs was earned.
Bullitt Central had just two hits, a double by Minyard and a single by Darian Deaver.
Minyard was in complete control the rest of the week as the Lady Cougars beat South Oldham 5-0 and Atherton 9-0.
Against South Oldham, Minyard allowed just two hits while striking out five.
Bullitt Central scored when they had the chances as they had just three hits. The Lady Cougars scored twice in the first and then secured the win with three runs in the sixth. The winning team had just three hits, but did get a triple from Minyard along with singles from Natalie Campbell and Deaver.
On Friday, Atherton was no match for the Lady Cougars, although, the game was only 2-0 through four innings.
Bullitt Central collected nine nits in the win including a solo home run from Hailey Szpila and a triple by Minyard who had two hits. Basil finished with three hits including a pair of doubles while Dana Johnson added a double.
Minyard picked up the win as she allowed just three hits and no walks. She struck out nine batters.
The junior pitcher has allowed just seven runs in her last seven outings and no team has scored more than four runs on the Lady Cougars since spring break on April 8.
“Seaera is keeping us in games,” Bullitt Central head coach Buddy Gallemore said. “We just have to have hits at the right time. She didn’t feel well a few games last week but she battled through it. She also helps herself by hitting the ball well.”
BE Getting Hotter
The week as a whole was positive for Bullitt East last week, but the first game of the week was frustrating as the team was no-hit in a 1-0 loss to Christian Academy.
In fact, there was only one hit in the game with no errors by either team.
The only run of the game came in the fourth when the lead-off hitter connected on a little bloop single over second base off Bullitt East pitcher Morgan Raymer. A passed ball followed and then two walks loaded the bases. The run then scored on a sacrifice fly.
This was the second time that the two teams had met this season. Bullitt East beat the Lady Centurions 4-1 back in the Bullitt County Invitational when Kayla Raymer blasted a grand slam. In this game, CAL opted to walk Raymer three times plus they also walked two other batters. Still, Bullitt East batters struck out 15 times.
Actually, Morgan Raymer pitched a perfect game except for the fourth inning.
Next, Bullitt East won another one-run game as they slipped past Martha Layne Collins 2-1.
The winning run came in the bottom of the seventh when pinch hitter Shelby Harris singled. Mericate Small was inserted back into the line-up to run and moved up on a wild pitch and then a sacrifice by Taylor Price. Morgan Raymer then connected on the sacrifice fly that ended the game.
Bullitt East had seven hits in the win including three by Rachel Simms and two by Kaylee McClure. Morgan Raymer had a double.
Morgan Raymer was also the winning pitcher as she allowed four hits and did not walk a batter. The one run was earned.
On Friday, the Lady Chargers split a pair of games after a long bus ride to Marion County.
In the opener, Jamie Lutes picked up the win in the circle as the Lady Chargers pulled out a 7-4 victory. The junior pitcher allowed three earned runs on eight hits.
Bullitt East collected nine hits in the win including doubles by McClure and Simms. Morgan Raymer, Lutes and Small each had two singles.
The second game on Friday was the 16th one-run game this season for Bullitt East. This one went the wrong way as Marion County pulled out a 4-3 decision.
Morgan Raymer suffered the loss despite allowing only four hits. Only two of the runs were earned.
Bullitt East had a good game at the plate, pounding out 11 hits. The only extra base hit was a double by Kayla Raymer who had two hits. Both Morgan Raymer and Simms had three hits.
“It will help us in the long run,” Bullitt East head coach Ricky Hoffman said of the one-run games. “If the bats start coming around we won’t have to worry about that. We hit it every game the last two weeks except against CAL.”
Bullitt East has one more ‘big’ game during the regular season as they will play host to Ballard on Thursday starting at 6 p.m. The Lady Bruins are the third-ranked team in the state.
NB Grabs 3rd Seed
The North Bullitt Lady Eagles continue to be a young team looking for a spark.
That might have happened on Monday when the green and gold won two games including a 14-1 decision over Fairdale that gave the green and gold the number three seed for the 24th District Tournament.
That win came after the lady Eagles had lost five games the previous week that saw their losing streak fall to eight games. After beating Fairdale, North Bullitt got back on the field and beat Presentation 13-3 in another five inning contest.
Last week started with an 11-1 loss to Elizabethtown and coach Eric Lambert’s team then dropped a 4-1 outcome to Manual. That led into the Crusade for Children Tournament at Assumption. The Lady Eagles lost to Franklin County 10-0 and to Assumption 13-2 on Friday before coming back on Saturday and losing to Franklin County again, this time by an 11-3 score.
North Bullitt will close out the regular season at home on Thursday against Whitefield Academy.