Underdog Hopkinsville hung around for a couple of innings against Webster County, but the Lady Tigers were no match for the Lady Trojans as Webster exploded for five runs in the third and six in the fourth on the way to an 11-0 victory in five innings in the first round of the 2nd Region Tournament at Clarky Clark Athletic Complex in Dixon.
The Lady Trojans only had three hits for the afternoon as the wild pitching from Lady Tiger junior Marley Hancock led to eight walks being issued and four Lady Trojan batters being hit by a pitch. The Lady Tigers also committed four errors as only four of Webster's 11 runs were earned.
"When you don't see a lot of strikes, it's hard to (hit)," Webster County coach Greg Pirtle said. "We didn't have a whole lot to hit. We took a lot of pitches and wound up walking. (Hancock) was faster than we thought she would be. I think that's why we were running a little bit late and a bit tardy on our swings."
Hopkinsville did get a couple of runners on base in the early innings, but Webster turned a couple of double plays to end the scoring threat. Pirtle gave special credit to a smart play that freshman catcher Gracie Thomas made in the first inning.
"We were aware," Pirtle said. "On a dropped third strike a girl took off running from first to second when she didn't have to. But instead of (Thomas) throwing to first to get the batter, she threw to second base to get the runner. She's just a freshman. That's heads up to know that."
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Webster County posted its first numbers on the scoreboard in the bottom of the third as Kerstin Braden and Hadlee Carter both scored on passed balls to give the Lady Trojans a 2-0 lead. Thomas then tripled to right to score Karlie Keeney and Kayla Yates--Thomas being safe at third on a bang-bang play. Thomas came around to score after Madison Durbin reached on an error as Webster led 5-0 after three.
The Lady Trojans expanded on their lead in the fourth inning as Grace Scott cracked an RBI single to center to score Carter. Thomas was then hit by a pitch to bring across Keeney, and Durbin drew a bases-loaded walk to score Scott and make it 8-0 Webster.
Jade Jerome reached on an error to score Yates, Rylee Warford drew a bases-loaded walk to plate courtesy runner Emily Braden, and Braden hit a sacrifice fly to score Durbin and extend Webster's lead to 11-0 after four.
Scott then entered the game in the fifth and set the Lady Tigers down in order to end the game via the mercy rule. Keeney earned the win inside the circle, allowing no runs on just one hit and no walks while striking out nine in four innings of work.
Webster County played 5th District champion Lyon County in the semifinals on Tuesday night, but the conclusion of that game was after press time. With a win the Lady Trojans will take on either Henderson County or Madisonville-North Hopkins on Wednesday night at 7:30. The winner of the region tournament advances to play in the semi-state at Western Kentucky University against the 1st Region champion.