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Tougher competition derails Lady Chargers’ winning ways

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Softball

By Mike Farner

 MOUNT WASHINGTON - The Bullitt East Lady Chargers picked up a key district win that they needed last week, but after beating Southern, the red and gold dropped a pair of tight games to highly-ranked opponents.

Against Southern, the Lady Chargers moved to 2-0 in the district seeding games as they rolled to a 13-1 victory. The score was 3-0 through three innings before Bullitt East scored nine runs in the fourth inning

Jamie Lutes, who did all the pitching for Bullitt East for a second straight week, got the win as she allowed only three hits. The one run was unearned. Lutes, a senior, struck out seven and walked only two.

At the plate, Bullitt East was dominant as they pounded out 16 hits. That total included six doubles by Kayla Raymer, Rachel Simms, Kristen Price, Lutes, Kaylee McClure and Nikki Hinkley. McClure and Hinkley each finished with three hits while Raymer, Lutes and Kayla Payne each had two hits.

A day later, Bullitt East and Butler finally got on the field after two previous attempts were postponed. Both teams wanted to play the game as they are two of the top teams in the Sixth Region. In fact, with a 7-4 win, Butler moved to 3-0 against Pleasure Ridge Park, Bullitt East and Bullitt Central, the other top teams in the region.

Bullitt East had won 13 of its previous 14 games before the loss to Butler on Wednesday and then a 5-2 loss to Assumption. Both teams are ranked among the top 25 teams in Kentucky.

“It seems like when we got to Wednesday, and I guess I could blame myself, but we were not disciplined or focused,” Bullitt East head coach Ricky Hoffman said. “We just had some bad outings. It was one of those nights, both nights.”

Against Butler, the Lady Chargers never led. Butler scored three times in the third inning and after Bullitt East scored twice in the bottom of the inning, Butler broke the game open with four runs in the fourth frame.

“We hit it pretty well, but the problem was that we left nine runners on base,” Hoffman lamented. “That was what hurt us.”

Lutes suffered the loss as she allowed 12 hits. Six of the seven runs were earned as she struck-out three and walked four. She also hit some batters.

The Bullitt East offense generated eight hits but only Taylor Price had two hits. The red and gold did get doubles from Kayla Raymer, Kristen Price and Morgan Raymer who pinch-hit after missing the previous two weeks with a sprained ankle.

Morgan Raymer pitched some JV innings over the weekend and she could be back in action later this week.

Against Assumption, the Lady Chargers fell behind early again as the Rockets scored twice in the top of the first inning.

This time there was no offense for Bullitt East as Assumption pitcher Foley allowed just one hit, a bunt by Taylor Price in the sixth inning. Bullitt East batters struck out 13 times.

Lutes took the loss as she gave up 11 hits. The senior struck out four and walked just one.

Bullitt East now has a 16-6 record. Five of the six losses have come to teams ranked in the top-25 in Kentucky.

Because of the games lost to bad weather in the BE/BC Challenge two weeks ago, Hoffman has added a pair of games this Friday at Lexington Catholic. The Lady Chargers will take on Montgomery County at 7:15 p.m. before playing the host school at 9 p.m.

Bullitt East will be back in district action on Monday when they play host to North Bullitt in a game slated to start at 6 p.m.