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Quick starts lifts Southern past North Bullitt in final

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23rd District Tournament

By Mike Farner

 SHEPHERDSVILLE – Trailing by four runs after the first inning, the North Bullitt Lady Eagles were not able to rebound on Wednesday in the championship game of the 23rd District Tournament against Southern High School.

In the end, the Lady Trojans tacked on a run in the fifth inning as they recorded a 5-0 victory to claim a second straight district title.

Still, it was a good week for the Lady Eagles. Coach Mike Nally’s team had defeated Bullitt Central 5-1 in the semi-finals, putting them in the final game for the first time since 2010. More importantly, the Lady Eagles will move on to this week’s Sixth Region Tournament where they will open play on Monday with a trip to Dixie Highway to take on Holy Cross.

It just did not start out well for the Lady Eagles and starting pitcher Jessica Wayne. Southern sent seven batters to the plate in that first inning as they had four hits to score the four runs.

The first three batters all reached base as Avery Conley, Alexis Anderson and Lydia Bondora all singled, plating the first run. After a sacrifice bunt by Racheal Metcalf, Kaetlyn Macalone connected on a double that plate two more runs. After a sacrifice moved Macalone to third, she scored on a botched pick-off attempt.

After the first, Nally brought in junior Shelby Crenshaw to pitch. She had been in the circle the day before and had a complete game win over Bullitt Central. The only run that Southern got off Crenshaw was a two-out walk in the fifth and then a single. The run then scored on a throwing error.

The Lady Trojans had seven hits in the game, but only one went for extra bases, the double in the first inning. Crenshaw struck out seven batters in five innings of work.

That was more than enough for Metcalf, Southern’s starting pitcher. She allowed just one hit, a single by North Bullitt’s Madison Ludwig in the third inning. Ludwig stole second, but did not move past second. The only other batter for the Lady Eagles to reach base was lead-off hitter Leanna Hundley. She got to first to open the game on an error, the only miscue the Lady Trojans commited, and then walked in the sixth inning.

Heading into Sixth Region play this week, North Bullitt has an 11-16 record.

All-Tournament Team

After play was completed on Wednesday, the 23rd District Softball All-Tournament was announced.

North Bullitt was represented on the honor team by Crenshaw, Hundley and Bri Johnson. Bullitt Central had seniors Haley Dukes and Hailey Szpila on the All-Tournament squad. Southern led the way with Kayla Knight, Conley, Anderson and MetCalf making the team.

Joining those players being honored were MacKenzie Allen and Breanna Lindsey of Moore along with Bethany Gannon of Evangel.

Tuesday Semi-Finals

North Bullitt advanced to the championship game with a 5-1 victory over Bullitt Central on Tuesday. This game was closer than the regular season meeting as North Bullitt had recorded an 8-1 victory at home.

On Tuesday, Bullitt Central scored a run in the first inning and senior pitcher Hailey Szpila made that stand up until North Bullitt broke through with five runs in the bottom of the fifth inning.

North Bullitt took advantage of two errors to start the fifth inning as both Wayne and Carissa Summers reached base. Lori Curtsinger then had a big hit as she doubled to put the Lady Eagles on the board. Following a ground-out, Curtsinger then scored on a sacrifice fly by Hundley to make it 3-1.

With nobody on base, North Bullitt kept the pressure on after Carly Benz reached base when she was hit by a pitch. Bre Sherrard then came though with the second double of the inning. Bri Johnson followed that with a single that plated two more runners.

Bullitt Central’s only run off Crenshaw came in the first inning. Sarah Noble walked to open the game and then stole second. Szpila singled and Noble came home with the run.

Crenshaw was pretty much in control the rest of the way. The junior allowed just two hits and walked one other batter. After the early run, Crenshaw did not allow another Bullitt Central runner past second base.

Crenshaw finfished with ten strikeouts and she walked just one batter.

Szpila took the loss despite the fact that she allowed only five hits. None of the runs by North Bullitt were earned. Szpila struckout one and did not walk any batters, but Bullitt Central made six errors behind her.