And Then There Were Three…
“Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, and others make it happen,” and that’s just what the LCMS Lady Cougar Softball team did….make it happen! As the team came off a regular season that ended with a record of 28-6, they continued their journey with a trip to the Middle School State Tournament in Owensboro to see how they fared against the best of the best.
Although their expectations were high, Coaches Amy Hinton and Gary Gettings began making adjustments and discussing strategy early as they knew their regular season line up had to be altered. Paige Vanzant, who had started third base all year for the Lady Cougars would not be in attendance for state play, as her mother’s wedding had longed been scheduled for the same weekend. The coaches made the decision to move Kaylin Page to third. This resulted in Kennedy Nichols knowing she would be behind the plate for every game, and the need to bring someone in to cover second base or first (depending on who pitched). The coaches called on Selynna Metcalfe and cast her in a big role. Metcalfe stepped up to the challenge in her defensive effort, causing the Lady Cougars to look like they never missed a beat.
In the first game, the Lady Cougars took on Henderson County. Henderson County scored early in the first inning and that would be the last time for the game. As the home team, the Lady Cougars matched their first inning score with a double from Brea Croslin and a single by Kennedy Nichols. As Abby Hinton retired batters with multiple strikeouts, the balls put in play were quickly swept up by the strong defense behind her resulting in a 5-1 victory by the Lady Cougars.
The Lady Cougars advanced to the winner’s bracket of double elimination play where they took on Apollo. The Lady Cougars scored on an RBI single by Sydney Lee in the fourth to tie the game. Lee also took the hill against Apollo with an impressive performance; however the tight game was decided in 6 innings by a score of 4-3 with Apollo on top and the Lady Cougars faced with the challenge of fighting their way out of the loser’s bracket.
In the game to follow, they took on Christian County. Christian County came out hot, scoring two runs in the top of the first. However, LC matched their efforts as Kaylin Page was walked and went on to steal second. Croslin hit a triple, scoring Page, and advanced to home on a hard hit ground ball by Sydney Lee. The two teams entered the 4th inning tied, but the Lady Cougars bats heated up with a single by Lee, a triple by Lily Newman, and a triple by Abby Canler leading to an eventual score from a hard hit ball by Hinton. The Lady Cougars added another win and advanced in tournament play coming out on top 5-2.
Next on the agenda was the Marshall County Marshalls. The Lady Cougars left no question to the outcome of this game early on, beating Marshall County 3-0 in 5 innings. Page opened the game up with a triple in the first inning and eventually scoring the run. The Lady Cougars increased their lead with two runs in the third with a single by Nichols, that plated Croslin, and a single by Lee that plated Nichols. Abby Hinton pitched lights out as Marshall managed just one hit off of Hinton, allowed no earned runs, walked one, and struck out three during her five innings of work.
The Lady Cougars went on to face Calloway County. Sydney Lee had an impressive outing against Calloway. Calloway managed just two hits off Lee, who allowed no runs, walked five, and struck out four during her four innings of work. Page went two for two for the game. In the 4th inning Nichols hard hit double to left field started it up and was followed by a single by Lee (scoring Nichols), Canler reaching on an error that scored Lee, and a single by Hinton. The Lady Cougars continued to advance with a win of 2-0.
The Lady Cougars found themselves facing Christian County again in the double-elimination, where the winner of this game would send the other team home. The Lady Cougars were able to fend off Christian County’s late push and hold on for a 3-2 win. The Lady Cougar’s made a slow but steady push scoring one run in the second off of singles by Nichols, Lee, and Hinton, as well as Shelby Gettings reaching on fielder’s choice. In the top of the 3rd the Lady Cougars started a two out rally with singles by Croslin and Nichols, followed by a double from Lee, resulting in two RBI’s and giving them a 3-0 lead. However, Christian County made a 5th inning push scoring two runs, but the Lady Cougars defense was able to slow the momentum resulting in a 3-2 win and eliminating Christian County.
The win resulted in three teams left standing: Logan County, Apollo, and returning State Champions Warren East. Apollo and Logan County would battle it out to see who went on to the championship game to face Warren East. Although the Lady Cougars won the hits battle 8-5, they couldn’t push enough runs across to get the win, losing 4-3. Brea Croslin racked up two RBI’s on two hits for LC, tripling in the first inning and singling in the third. Early on the game it looked like it would go in favor of the Lady Cougars. In the bottom of the first Page opened with a double. A single by Selynna Metcalfe moved Page from second to third where Croslin’s triple scored them both. The scoreboard lit up again for LC with Croslin scoring off an RBI single from Nichols. However, the hits were not enough as Apollo outscored the Lady Cougars by one run, bringing their impressive season to an end.
The Logan County Lady Cougar Middle School Softball team ended the 2015 season with a record of 33-8, district championship title, and placing third in state.