Lutes is perfect as BE rolls past struggling NB

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By Mike Farner

 MOUNT WASHINGTON – With the top seed for the upcoming 24th District on the line, the Bullitt East Lady Chargers made quick work of North Bullitt on Monday in the final game of the regular season used for seeding he post-season.

In less than 70 minutes, Bullitt East beat the Lady Eagles 11-0 in a contest that was stopped after North Bullitt hit in the top of the fifth inning.

Bullitt East senior pitcher Jamie Lutes was in complete control of this contest as she threw a perfect game. Lutes faced the minimum of 15 batters, retiring seven on strikeouts.

It was the opposite story for North Bullitt as the Lady Eagles used three different pitchers with no luck. Elise Mills got the start but soon gave way to Shelby Crenshaw before ReAunna Puskac finished up.

In fact, the three North Bullitt pitchers walked 11 batters and hit another five. Bullitt East scored all of those runs with only six hits.

Bullitt East senior Kristen Price had two of those hits including a double. Price drove in five runs in the first three innings. Kayla Raymer also had two hits while lead-off hitter Taylor Price added a double to the total.

The win moved Bullitt East to 4-0 in district play and the Lady Chargers will now face the winner of the Fairdale-Southern game next Tuesday in the semi-finals of the district tournament at North Bullitt. The Lady Eagles, who have the number three seed, will take on Bullitt Central in the second semi-final on Tuesday.

The fact that Monday’s game had district implications was secondary to the fact that it was an intra-county contest according to Bullitt East head coach Ricky Hoffman.

“The girls know how important the games against Bullitt Central and North Bullitt are,” the coach said. “The records don’t matter. Either team can win in the rivalry. Their pitching was just not up to par that day.

“I think they are better than they showed against us,” the coach added. “Jamie was just lights out. She was up for it.”

After the high of the strong performance on Monday, Bullitt East was knocked down a few pegs on Tuesday when they traveled into Jefferson County and suffered a 10-0 loss to Mercy, the state’s fourth-ranked team. Bullitt East had lost to the Jaguars 6-0 in the first week of the regular season.

Starting next year, Bullitt East will be in the same district as Mercy as the Jaguars move into the Sixth Region.

“We played well for three innings,” Hoffman said. “Then they started to play some small ball that we weren’t prepared for.

“Mercy is a great team,” the coach added. “I think I got out coached in some of the situations. I as a coach learned a lot. We went into practice on Wednesday and changed some of our small ball defense.

Lutes suffered the loss as she allowed 13 hits in five and two-thirds innings of work.

Bullitt East did manage three hits including a double by Kaylee McClure. The Lady Chargers did leave six runners stranded on base.

Because if was prom weekend at Bullitt East, the team played only three games last week. The final contest was on Thursday in Shelbyville where the Lady Chargers rallied late to beat Martha Layne Collins 10-9 in eight innings.

Bullitt East trailed for most of this game after Collins scored seven times in the bottom of the second inning. Bullitt East did not pull even until scoring four times in the top of the seventh to force the extra inning.

Hoffman tried to work sophomore pitcher Morgan Raymer back into the line-up as she has been out for the past three weeks with a sprained ankle. She still has some recovery ahead of her as she only worked into the second inning. Lutes came in and pitched the rest of the game, allowing five hits and only one earned run.

Bullitt East did collect 12 hits in the win including doubles by Rachel Simms, Kristen Price, Taylor Alvey and Jessica Hanna. Simms finished with three hits while Kristen Price, Kayla Raymer and Nikki Hinkley each had two hits.

The Lady Chargers will close out the regular season with a bang on Friday as they will play three games in the Boyle County Invitational, including a game against defending state champion and top-ranked Allen County-Scottsville at 7 p.m. This is a tournament, but because Bullitt East has graduation on Saturday, the team will not return to Danville for bracket play. Instead, Boyle County arranged for another team to take Bullitt East’s place after the ‘pool’ play contests.

North Bullitt Wins

For just the third time this spring, North Bullitt picked up a win when they defeated Atherton 11-9 on Friday. The Lady Eagles scored nine times in the first three innings to secure the win.

Atherton came into the game with 16 victories.

North Bullitt collected eight hits in the win and were helped by nine Atherton errors. Three of the Lady Eagle hits were doubles off the bats of Tori Andres, Carly Benz and Puskac.

The win in the circle went to Puskac as Atherton was held to just six hits.