High school softball: Lafayette wins 43rd District title

mmaloney@herald-leader.comMay 22, 2013 

With both finalists assured of advancing to regional play, Wednesday's 43rd District title game at Dunbar was a case of small stakes and plenty of pride. Lafayette upended Dunbar 5-1, behind the four-hit pitching of tourney MVP Jamie Vescio.

"It's a good feeling any time you can win this district, a very competitive district," Generals Coach Shane Weaver said. "It's good momentum for us going into the region. We played pretty well (Tuesday) night and tonight."

Caroline Perkins, Sarah Cooley and Sarah Wiggins each had two of Lafayette's eight hits.

Cooley also had one of the more heads-up plays of the game, advancing from first to second base on a pop foul to the catcher. Cooley later scored from there on Wiggins' two-out single in the sixth to give Lafayette a 3-1 lead.

"I saw it and I knew if (the catcher) dove for it she wouldn't be able to get back up and throw me out at second," Cooley said. "So I just went."

Vescio tossed a seven-hitter in Tuesday's 12-2 victory over Lexington Catholic.

"I used the momentum from (Tuesday) night's game just to keep going," she said. "I just knew that we were so excited about this game, the whole team was, and it just really helped me out there on the mound."

Lafayette (23-12) split a pair of regular-season games with Dunbar.

The Bulldogs (20-13) will have a chance to atone in the 11th Region tourney, which opens Monday at Frankfort.

"Today's game was for pride but, luckily, we still get to play on Monday," Coach Jenny Hill said.

Lafayette posted a pair of unearned runs in the first. Perkins doubled and scored on a throwing error. Abbie Bowling singled in a second run.

Rain and lightning led to a 1:35 delay in the top of the second.

"We came out flat," Hill said. "The rain helped us in the sense that we got to regroup and refocus. And came back out — and that's the team that needed to start the game."

Dunbar halved its deficit in the fourth. Kaitlyn Elias, who had two of Dunbar's four hits, led off with a single. She scored on Brooke Hill's two-out double to the gap in right-center.

After Cooley and Wiggins combined to make it 3-1 in the sixth, a three-base error to open the seventh set up a two-run Lafayette uprising.

Perkins doubled in a run and Vescio bunted for a single. A walk filled the bases and, one out later, another free pass forced in a run.

"We hit the ball well, but we're playing good defense now," Weaver said. "Jamie — two runs (Tuesday) night, one run tonight against a very good hitting team. We're starting to put it all together, I think."

And, regardless of stakes, a district title is "an amazing feeling," Cooley said.

"We worked really hard all throughout the year, and I'm really proud that we were able to pull through and get it."


LAFAYETTE 5, DUNBAR 1

Lafayette 200 001 2—5 8 2

Dunbar 000 100  0—1 4 2

Vescio and Mitchell; Zander, Norton (2), Zander (7) and Ferguson. 2B — Perkins 2 (L); Hill (D).

All-tournament team — Hannah James (LCA); Sarah Landry and Ellen Mitchell (Catholic); Mary Mullins and Cressa Fryrear (Tates Creek); Kaylie Zander, Stephanie Harvey and Brooke Hill (Dunbar); Sarah Cooley, Abbie Bowling and Katelyn Mitchell (Lafayette). MVP — Jamie Vescio (Lafayette).

All-district, first team — Bailey Skaggs, Finley Yuttayong (Tates Creek); Sophie robic, Ashley Baker (Lex Catholic); Katelyn Mitchell, Sarah Cooley, Jamie Vescio (Lafayette); Kaylie Zander, Stephanie Harvey, Shelby Shanks (Dunbar). Second team — Mary Mullins, Kenzi Groft (Tates Creek); Sarah Landry (Lex Catholic); Madison Burke, Abby bowling (Lafayette); Rachael Ferguson, Kaitlyn Elias (Dunbar); Hannah James, Kaleigh Covington, Emily Orrender (LCA). Honorable mention — Anna Mutters (Tates Creek); Hannah Martin, Harper Ford, CeCe Wittry (Lex Catholic); Melissa Myers, Jordan Dishong, Elise Shewmaker (LCA).

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

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