State softball: Scott County gets a win but then is eliminated by North Laurel

mmaloney@herald-leader.comJune 8, 2012 

mercy academy

Mercy Academy's JJ Francis wound up her pitch.

JOHN DUNHAM | AP

OWENSBORO — Something old wasn't enough to cancel out something new for Scott County on Friday.

After drilling Bullitt East 9-2 in a morning losers'-bracket game, Scott County was eliminated from the Rawlings/KHSAA State Softball Tournament as North Laurel posted a 6-3 victory.

The 16-team double-elimination tournament will wrap up Saturday with the winners'-bracket finale and losers'-bracket semifinals at 9 a.m. (CDT), losers'-bracket finals at 11 a.m. and a championship game at 1 p.m. If necessary, another game would immediately follow.

Scott County's something old was a never-say-die rally.

The Cardinals scored twice in the bottom of the seventh inning and brought the tying run to the plate.

"We've been really good about coming back and fighting," said third baseman Madison Mullin, who had six hits over two games. "We were out on the field, we looked at each other and said this is not how we want to end the game. So we got back in the dugout and at least fought back a little bit. We just weren't able to pull it through this time."

That was due in large part to something new.

"It was unfortunate," Coach Scott Walters said. "What did we have, seven errors in that game? I don't think we've had seven errors in the past four months. They just came in bunches today. When the wheels fell off, they fell off. I can't explain it. We were so close on so many plays."

No. 10 Laurel County (37-6) advanced to a Friday night losers' bracket game against Greenwood.

No. 8 Scott County (33-9-1), the 11th Region champion, headed home.

The Jaguars scored an unearned run in the first inning, then pushed the lead to 5-0 in the fourth.

Winning pitcher Megan Baldwin and Emily Sears each singled in a fourth-inning run. Two more scored on an error.

Two errors in the seventh led to North Laurel's final run.

Baldwin held the Cardinals to an unearned run on six hits through six innings.

In the seventh, Scott County laced four singles.

Michaela Abney nearly made it five, but her suicide- squeeze bunt resulted in a close forceout at the plate.

Megan Glover followed with a two-run single to right.

"I'm proud that we kept fighting, and we showed them our ball at the end," Glover said.

Because Baldwin notched her second strikeout of the game to end it.

"I told them I'm really proud of them. They've done that all year," Walters said of Scott's rally. "They never quit, they never quit. ... So close, that play at the plate.

"Then, early in the game when we had our chances, we just couldn't get the hit to get the run in. ... Hats off to North Laurel. They came out when they had players in scoring position, they got the key base hits that they needed to push the runs across and took big advantage of our mistakes."

In the opener, a 9-3 win over Bullitt East, Mullin went 5-for-5, scored three runs, drove in one and stole three bases.

"I just felt it today. I got to the plate, I was really confident," she said. "That's just my job, get on base. That's what I focused on."

Marlee Tevis tossed six innings of two-run, two-hit ball, then gave way to Tiffany Wickline in the seventh.

Bullitt East (27-11) was ranked No. 25.

"Our heart and our love for the game," Glover said when asked what she'll remember of these Cardinals. "I love all those girls and I know that they're going to do well in their future."

Mark Maloney: (859) 231-3229.Twitter: @MarkMaloneyHLBlog: markmaloney.bloginky.com

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