Lady Chargers find missing offense just in time

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By Mike Farner

 MOUNT WASHINGTON – A week ago, Bullitt East Lady Chargers softball coach Ricky Hoffman said his team’s offense was ‘in a slump’ after a two week stretch in which the team lost a number of games to some of the state’s top teams.

That all changed last week as the red and gold took out some batting frustration on some shell-shocked opponents, fueling the red and gold to victories in four of five games last week including a 3-1 run in the Catholic Warehouse Tournament in Owensboro, an event played on the same fields that will host the Kentucky State Tournament in June.

On Sunday, Hoffman was saying that during the bad weather earlier in the week, when the team could not play games, that some work in the gym and in a hitting facility gave the players an opportunity to knock out some bad habits in their swings.

“Overall, it was a good week,” Hoffman said. “We hit it well and we played better defense. We did well the last five games.

That action left the Lady Chargers with a 21-8 mark with two weeks remaining in the regular season.

“We were in the gym a few times and the hitting facility,” Hoffman pointed out. “We came up with some different things to do for live hitting and seeing the ball. It seemed to work. We had three home runs on Thursday and we carried that over to Friday.”

Before heading to Owensboro, the Lady Chargers had to take care of some 24th District work on Thursday, playing host to Jeffersontown. This one was over early as Bullitt East rolled to a 10-0 win in a game that stopped after the top of the fifth inning.

The Lady Chargers got home runs from Kelsey Gravens, Lindsay Renneisen and Taylor Roby to fuel the win. Renneisen finished with three hits as the freshman also had two doubles. Gravens had two hits including a double.

Hoffman opted to give all three of his pitchers some work before the busy weekend. Senior Morgan Raymer, junior Loren Roby and Roby, an eighth-grader, combined on a no-hitter. Raymer got the win and the only two Jeffersontown base runners reached on walks.

On Friday, the bus ride to Owensboro didn’t bother the Lady Chargers at all as they got off the bus and pounded out 20 hits in an 18-0 victory over Butler County in a four-inning game.

The Lady Chargers didn’t have any home runs, but the team did get a triple from Hannah Dahl along with doubles from Shelby Maros, Morgan Raymer, Emily Salyer Bri Hare, Dahl and Karil Yarbough. The team got three hits each from Renneisen and Dahl as well as two hits from Morgan Raymer, Gravens, Kayla Raymer, Yarbrough and Salyer.

Morgan Raymer and Taylor Roby pitched in this game with Butler County getting just one hit.

On Saturday, the red and gold started play with a 9-5 victory over Hancock County. Bullitt East was down after Hancock County scored four times in the top of the first inning but the Lady Chargers bounced back with two in the first, five in the second and then two in the third to secure the win.

Both Gravens and Taylor Roby belted home runs in the win and the Lady Chargers also got doubles from Renneisen, Morgan Raymer and hare.

Loren Roby handled all the pitching in this game and she allowed just four hits and one of the runs were earned.

It was a tougher battle in the second game on Saturday before Bullitt East defeated traditional state power Allen County-Scottsville 5-1.

Morgan Raymer got the win in the circle in this game as the senior gave up only three hits and the one run was unearned. Raymer finished with ten strikeouts and she did not walk a batter.

Bullitt East finished with eight hits in this game including doubles from Gravens and Morgan Raymer. Both of those players finished with two hits.

The final game, against Madisonville North-Hopkins, a highly ranked team in the state, ended in a strange fashion with Madisonville up 3-2.

With the time limit imminent, Bullitt East started the fifth inning down 3-1. The Lady Chargers loaded the bases with one out before Morgan Raymer drove a ball deep to left field. The runners tagged and the runner from third scored, but the inning and game ended when the runner at second base was called out for leaving the base too early.

Bullitt East had just three hits in the game with one of those being a double off the bat of Renneisen.

Taylor Roby pitched in this game and suffered the loss. The 8th-grader gave up five hits and struck out three batters. All three runs were earned.

Bullitt East has a full slate of games this week including a meeting at home on Friday against Sacred Heart that will be Senior Night. On Saturday, the Lady Chargers will take on Owensboro Catholic in a game that will be played at Assumption’s softball facility.

Other Action

While Bullitt East got in a number of games last week by playing late in the week, that was not the case for North Bullitt and Bullitt Central.

The bad weather early last week meant that North Bullitt did not play at all as they were not scheduled to play late in the week because of Derby dates and no school on Friday.

Bullitt Central played once last week, falling to Pleasure Ridge Park 13-0. It was the second loss this season for the Lady Cougars against their Sixth Region rivals.