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Tough semi-final leads to easy final for BE

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2010 24th District Softball Tournament

By The Staff

    SHEPHERDSVILLE - Brook Hammons can remember winning the district softball tournament as an eighth-grader.

    But, since that time, the times have been a bit lean for the Bullitt East Lady Chargers.

    On Wednesday, under first-year coach Ricky Hoffman, Bullitt East returned to the top of the district with an 8-1 victory over North Bullitt.

    For Hammons, it is a nice way to wind down her senior year.

    “We really felt no pressure,” said Hammons, who had two doubles and drove home two runs. “We’ve come together as a family and that has made a big difference.”

    After defeating North Bullitt 2-1 in the regular season, Bullitt East put the first two runs on the board in the bottom of the second.

    With two outs, Kayla Payne reached on an error to extend the inning. Hammons made the Lady Eagles pay when she drove the ball to deep left field for a double.   

    Hammons then went to third on a wild pitch and the throw from catcher Bre Kuffner went into left field, allowing the senior to score.

    The Lady Eagles would get their only run in the fourth inning.

    Kuffner led off with a double to deep center field and was advanced by a sacrifice bunt by Leah Cherry. Darian Davenport followed with another bunt but instead of taking the out at first, Bullitt East tried to get Kuffner at third. The ball was thrown away allowing the senior to score.

    A two-out RBI single by pitcher Jamie Lutes followed Hammons’ second double in the fourth.

    The top-seeded Lady Chargers broke the game open in the fifth. Erin Cox came in to pitch in relief of Sheridan Hamilton. Taylor Price led off with a single and Rachel Simms followed with a double, her second of the game. Jenna Simms drove home Price and Rachel Simms with a single.

    Erin Manns was hit with a pitch and Kayla Payne singled. Hammons’ sacrifice fly scored Jenna Simms.  Kirsten Price had an RBI single and Lutes drove home a run with a double for the 8-1 final count.

    Lucas went the distance and allowed just three hits.

    Bullitt East had 10 hits and was aided by three North Bullitt errors.

    Lucas, a sophomore who has handled the pitching duties this season, said it helped to get a few early runs.

    “I just wanted to throw strikes and let the defense make the plays,” said Lutes.

    She also helped her own cause with a pair of hits en route to being named the district tourney MVP.

The victory fulfilled the second goal set by the Lady Chargers this season.

    Hoffman said the goals of being the top seed in the district and winning the district tournament were set before the season started. It will be the Lady Chargers’ first trip to the Sixth Region tournament since 2006.

    “The seniors have gone through a lot here,” said Hoffman.

    After playing very tight in the semifinal struggle over Bullitt Central, Hoffman said the team was back to its loose self on Wednesday.

    “We’ve been hitting the ball well and tonight we played like we have all season,” said Hoffman.

    In deciding the change this season, Hoffman said that was a simple answer.

    “It was all about attitude,” said Hoffman. “Every practice every player wanted to be there. They worked hard every day this season.”

    Set to face Holy Cross at 2:30 p.m. on Monday in the regional opener at Southern High School, Hoffman knows his team can compete with anyone.

    “I think we have a real good shot,” said Hoffman.

Against Holy Cross, both teams enter with identical 24-10 records. They did not face one another in the regular season.

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    Lutes led the All-District team, who was selected the MVP. Other tourney team members included: Rachel Simms, Brook Hammons and Taylor Price, all of Bullitt East; Caitlin Crowder, Erin Cox and Bre Kuffner of North Bullitt; Sierra Minyard and Whitney Miller of Bullitt Central; and Katie Raymer and Samantha Starkey of Southern.