In a week teeming with stellar ranked opponents, Webster County was able to prevail with a 6-2 victory over sixth-ranked and defending state champion Madisonville-North Hopkins at home in Dixon last Tuesday night and also get an 8-2 win over eighth-ranked Apollo on the road in Owensboro on Monday night.
The Lady Trojans fell just short against fourth-ranked Louisville Male and 10th-ranked Louisville Holy Cross in the Best of the West round-robin tournament in Bowling Green on Saturday, but Webster was able to bounce back with a 5-2 victory over Greenwood in its final game of the day.
Webster County continues to roll towards the postseason with nine victories in its last 11 games, and Coach Greg Sutton believes his team is playing their best team ball right now.
“It just seems like we’re pulling together as far as a team,” Sutton said. “Midway through the season and the first part of the season we were playing with a lot of ‘I’ in ‘team’, and now I think we’re getting to where we’re becoming a team and picking each other up.”
Webster County 6
Webster County did not seem fazed when defending state champion Madisonville-North Hopkins came to town last Tuesday night.
The Lady Trojans fell behind early but scored six unanswered runs to record a 6-2 victory over the Lady Maroons—snapping a seven-game losing streak to North and marking the first win at home over Madisonville since April 17, 2009.
Webster County junior and Liberty University commit Karlie Keeney earned the win inside the circle and allowed just two runs on two hits and one walk while striking out eight in a full seven innings of work.
Madisonville took an early 2-0 lead in the top of the first before Webster County came roaring back with three runs in the bottom of the second.
The Lady Trojans got on the scoreboard with Gracie Thomas’ RBI double before Kennedy Villines chased in Thomas with an RBI double of her own to tie it at 2-all. Villines came around to score and give Webster County the lead when Rylee Warford reached on an E6.
Webster County added much-needed insurance in the bottom of the fifth with three runs coming in three consecutive at-bats.
Grace Scott belted an RBI triple to right to score Warford and give Webster a 4-2 advantage before Keeney’s RBI single pushed the Lady Trojans’ lead to 5-2. Hattie Hartman followed Keeney’s single with an RBI double to make it 6-2 Webster County after five.
Keeney then took care of business inside the circle in the final two innings as the Lady Maroons produced only one baserunner due to a Lady Trojan error in the top of the sixth before going down in order in the top of the seventh.
Thomas, Villines and Warford led Webster in the win as each player picked up two hits apiece—Thomas and Villines also recording one double and one RBI for the Lady Trojans.
Kerstin Braden, Scott, Keeney, Hartman and Kari Wood each notched one hit as Wood and Hartman both had a double. Hartman, Keeney and Scott drove in one run apiece for the Lady Trojans—who as a team struck out only three times during the game.
Webster County 13
Muhlenberg County 0
Muhlenberg County was simply no match for Webster County on Thursday night as the Lady Trojans romped to a 13-0 victory over the Lady Mustangs in just five innings.
Webster led 10-0 after two innings, and the Lady Trojans posted three runs in the bottom of the fourth as the game ended via mercy rule in the top of the fifth inning.
The Lady Trojans were led at the plate by Keeney, who went for 3-for-3 with two singles and a double to drive in three runs and score two.
Jade Jerome collected a single and a double in three plate appearances to drive in two, and Gracie Thomas also drove in two runs for the Lady Trojans despite failing to pick up a hit.
Hadlee Carter and Hattie Hartman each had a single while driving in one run for Webster County, and the pair also scored two and three runs, respectively, for the Lady Trojans.
Kerstin Braden, Grace Scott and Kennedy Villines rounded out the Lady Trojans’ attack with one hit apiece—Villines notching a double.
Scott and Keeney put forth a collective effort inside the circle, allowing the Lady Mustangs just one hit and one walk while striking out a combined six batters in five innings.
Webster County 1
Webster County saw its seven-game winning streak snapped on Saturday afternoon as fourth-ranked Louisville Male scored two runs in the top of the eighth to prevail with a 3-1 victory over the Lady Trojans at the Best of the West tournament in Bowling Green.
The Lady Bulldogs scored one run in the top of the first before Webster County tied the game in the bottom of the third when Rylee Warford reached on an error to score courtesy runner Lawna Ferrel.
Male then posted two runs in the top of the eighth to secure the victory as the Lady Trojans went down in order in the bottom half of the inning. None of the Lady Bulldogs’ runs were earned as the Lady Trojans committed four errors.
Webster County was led at the plate in the loss by Kayla Yates and Kennedy Villines, who had one single and one double, respectively, in a game where the Lady Trojans struggled mightily at the plate against Lady Bulldog sophomore superstar Kelsie Houchens.
Louisville Holy Cross 5
Webster County 4
Webster County outhit 10th-ranked Holy Cross nine to six, but the Cougars capitalized on three Lady Trojan errors as three of their runs were unearned in a 5-4 win over the Lady Trojans at the Best of the West tournament in Bowling Green on Saturday.
Holy Cross led 1-0 after the top of the first before Webster County came roaring back with three runs in the bottom half of the inning on a 2-RBI triple and RBI single by Hattie Hartman and Hadlee Carter, respectively.
The Cougars knotted it back up with two runs in the top of the second and took the lead in the top of the third on a RBI sacrifice bunt by senior Natalie Luckett.
Holy Cross tacked one more run in the top of the fifth, but Webster County threatened in the bottom half of the sixth and final inning.
The Lady Trojans had runners at first and second with only one out, and Kayla Yates grounded out to drive in a run and cut the deficit to one before Kerstin Braden grounded out to strand the tying run in Rylee Warford at third base to end the game.
Warford, Hartman and Karlie Keeney led the Lady Trojans at the plate in the loss, collecting two hits apiece.
Carter and Gracie Thomas each notched a single, Carter also recording one RBI.
Webster County 5
Webster County was able to end a short two-game losing streak on Saturday as the Lady Trojans ended the Best of the West tournament in Bowling Green with a 5-2 victory over the hometown Greenwood Lady Gators.
The Lady Trojans jumped out to a 5-0 lead after two innings before Greenwood posted two runs in the top of the third to ultimately make the final score 5-2.
Gracie Thomas and Kerstin Braden led the Lady Trojans at the plate, each driving in two runs apiece.
Kari Wood was a perfect 3-for-3 at the plate, collecting three runs while scoring one run for Webster County.
Kennedy Villines went 2-for-2 with one walk while scoring one run as Thomas, Kerstin Braden and Grace Scott each notched one hit apiece.
Junior pitcher Karlie Keeney earned the win inside the circle, allowing two runs on seven hits while striking out one in four innings of work. Scott finished the game for Webster in the final two innings, allowing no runs on just one hit and no walks.
Webster County 8
Six days after getting a signature win over defending state champion and sixth-ranked Madisonville-North Hopkins, Webster County was able to validate that win over the Lady Maroons on Monday night against eighth-ranked Apollo in Owensboro.
Grace Scott slugged two 1-RBI triples, the defense was stout behind a solid pitching performance from Karlie Keeney, and the Lady Trojans grabbed yet another impressive victory with an 8-2 win over the E-gals.
“I told the girls that even though we scored a lot and won the game, the defense was awesome tonight,” Webster County coach Greg Sutton said. “They turned a couple of double plays, and got dirty and played ball like they should.”
Keeney allowed just two runs on four hits and one walk while striking out five in a complete game of work—marking the second time in less than a week that the Liberty University commit has held a Top 10 team to just two runs.
“She’s at the prime of her time right now,” Sutton said. “She’s a slow starter—coming out of basketball and everything—but now I think she’s in her prime. The other night (against Madisonville) she was throwing 66,67—which is good for speed. She’s spot on.”
Webster County also had several remarkable defensive plays during the game, such as sophomore Hadlee Carter’s unassisted double play on an E-gal lineout in the bottom of the third.
“I like strikeouts but I like for everybody to be a part of the game,” Sutton said of his team’s overall defensive effort.
Webster County trailed 1-0 after Apollo pitcher Haley John’s RBI single in the bottom of the first, but the Lady Trojans tied the game on a RBI triple by Scott in the top of the third before Keeney chased Scott in with an RBI groundout to give Webster a 2-1 advantage.
The Lady Trojans extended their lead in the top of the fourth when Rylee Warford reached on a dropped third strike as Kari Wood and Hadlee Carter came around to score, and Kerstin Braden reached on an E6 to bring home Warford and give Webster a commanding 5-1 lead.
Webster County continued to pour it in the top of the sixth with three more runs, Grace Scott providing the Lady Trojans’ first run in the frame with an RBI triple to nearly the same spot in right field as the first time.
“Going back to early in the season Grace was like second to the bottom in batting average,” Sutton said. “She’s really been working, putting some extra time in, and focusing more on her swing. She’s always been an excellent baserunner, and I call her ‘NASCAR’ for the way that she turns the corners.”
Keeney grounded out to plate Scott before Kari Wood reached on an E4 to score Carter and extend the Lady Trojans’ lead to 8-1.
Apollo was able to chip into the deficit with one run in the bottom of the seventh, but the E-gals were unable to produce any more offense as the Lady Trojans left Owensboro with another victory that will produce more votes for Webster County in the state softball polls.
Reach CAMERON BROWN at