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MOUNT WASHINGTON -- A good start to the week turned sour for the Bullitt East Lady Chargers heading into a short break over Derby weekend.
Bullitt East started the week with a 7-0 victory over Sixth Region rival Holy Cross, but then ran into some trouble. At South Oldham, the Lady Chargers were mowed down by a strong pitcher and lost 1-0. Then on Thursday in an important district game in the seeding process, the Lady Chargers were undone by a long home run in a 7-4 loss to Southern.
The big home run was not hit by one of the big power hitters in the middle of the Southern line-up. Instead, it was the number seven hitter, Rein, who got the ball up into a strong wind and saw it easily clear the fence in left field, plating three runs and put the Lady Trojans up 7-1 in the top of the sixth.
Bullitt East rallied with a pair of runs in the bottom of the sixth and added another in the seventh, but it wasn’t enough.
The Lady Chargers finished with six hits in the loss including a double by LaVella Hall. Southern had ten hits including the home run and also a double.
At the time, Bullitt East head coach Ed Phelps did not instruct pitcher Ashley Ploetner to do anything special to Rein.
“I wasn’t expecting anything from her,” the coach said. “That’s a different player. That was the first basemen, not Murphy. I don’t know if she has hit any (home runs). The way the wind was blowing I didn’t think anyone would hit it out.”
Ploetner has done a job this season and made few mistakes on Thursday.
“Other than that one pitch she did not pitch that badly,” Phelps said. “We just didn’t make some plays we’re supposed to make.”
Against South Oldham, Bullitt East did get a runner to third base in the bottom of the seventh, but could not score the run. Bullitt East had struck out 15 times in the game and so Phelps had Brooke Hammons lay down a bunt with two strikes. Hammons got the ball down, but was out by half a step at first base.
Phelps was pleased with the win over Holy Cross to start the week.
“We played well that day,” the coach said.
Ploetner picked up another win against Holy Cross. The senior has become the team’s everyday pitcher.
“Ashley has pitched well enough to win (more) games,” Phelps noted. “We just haven’t made the plays or had the bats going behind her.
“I’m pleased with the way she has pitched,” the coach added. “I thought it would be an issue this season, but it hasn’t. Ashley has stepped up and done a good job and kept us in ball games.”
Bullitt East will have two big games this week. The Lady Chargers will play at Southern on Wednesday and then will travel to North Bullitt on Thursday.
North Bullitt Wins
It was a perfect week on paper for the Lady Eagles, but it was a tough week on the field as the team lost centerfielder Margaret Flowers for the season with a broken leg.
That injury occurred on Wednesday in a 4-3 victory over Fern Creek in a game that went eight innings. To start the eighth in a scoreless game, North Bullitt put Flowers on second base as per the international rule. She stole third and when Brandy Finn hit the ball to the shortstop, Flowers raced home and slid into the plate, suffering the broken leg.
North Bullitt went on to score three more times in the inning despite paramedics working on Flowers just outside the dugout. Fern Creek scored three times in the bottom of the eighth inning and had a runner on third when there was a wild pitch. Catcher Breanne Kuffner tracked the ball down and tagged out the runner for the final out.
Cierra Hayes was the winning pitcher in the win over Fern Creek.
A day earlier, North Bullitt scored three times in the top of the first inning and then held on to beat Sacred Heart 3-2.
Erin Cox was the winning pitcher against Sacred Heart.
It got a lot easier for the Lady Eagles on Thursday as they blew past 24th District rival Fairdale 13-0. The green and gold scored 11 times in the first two innings to break the game open.
The game gave head coach Eric Lambert an opportunity to play some younger players and also to rest a handful of players with nagging injuries.
“It was a sound team effort, especially since we lost to them in about the same situation last year,” the coach said. “Coming off the injury to Margaret it was good to see us being aggressive.”
Hayes got the win in the circle as she recorded her second no-hitter of the season.
North Bullitt took the weekend off to get reenergized for the post-season run.
“We needed the break,” Lambert said f Derby weekend. “We’re still banged up. Other than Margaret’s injury it’s just little stuff. It’s nice to take a few days away from school and softball.”
The team got to practice on Monday and after playing Beth Haven on Tuesday, will get another day to practice on Wednesday. That will lead into a game against Bullitt East on Thursday at home.