A regional championship game turned out to be just another day at the office for Scott County.
The sixth-ranked Cardinals tripped up No. 17 Franklin County 8-3 in Wednesday's 11th Region finals at Bryan Station.
"Business as usual. Our missions are not complete," Scott County Coach Jeff Portwood said. "We've got the State Tournament next and our mission is to grab that trophy, too. We've had that goal from the beginning of the year and that's kind of what we're looking forward to."
The State Tournament will be held June 5-7 at Owensboro's Jack C. Fisher Park. Scott County will open against 12th Region champion East Jessamine.
"It looks like we've got a pretty good draw going into the State Tournament," Portwood said. "You never know at this time of year, though. Everybody brings their 'A' game and we're expecting that. We'll take a day off and get back on the field and work our tails off until we get there."
Scott County will be making its third straight trip to State. Will that experience help?
"I think so, for sure," said Katie Stamper, a senior who had two hits and scored twice Wednesday. "Every time you go, you learn something new. Everything changes. It kind of worries me that the younger girls haven't been through it, but I think they'll be all right."
The Cardinals (28-8) took advantage of six Franklin County errors, scoring five unearned runs.
"Yes, and that is important when you're playing in big games like this," Portwood said. "Somebody makes a mistake, you've got to jump on it and make something happen. That's kind of what we did."
Starting with a four-run second inning, when the Flyers (29-9-1) committed three errors.
"You just can't do that in big games," Franklin Coach Tracy Spickard said of the unearned runs. "I felt like we were prepared. I felt like our kids were loose and were confident. It just snowballed on us and got out of hand.
"But they fought. They fought till the end. We came back and made a run in the sixth. I'm super proud of the effort that they gave. Just very proud."
Franklin County came back with an unearned run in the bottom of the second.
But winning pitcher Marlee Tevis led off the Scott third with a home run to right-center.
"That was a bonus, I guess," Tevis said. "But everybody had big hits, so that's a plus."
Stamper followed with a double and eventually scored the Cardinals' sixth run.
Tevis made it 8-1 in the sixth, singling in a pair of runs.
Franklin got run-scoring singles in the bottom of the sixth from Sydney Wiard and Shelby Sanders. But the Flyers wound up stranding runners on the corners.
"We just didn't make the plays. It's as simple as that," Spickard said. "We took a little longer to adjust hitting than I thought we would. We finally did.
"But you've got to bring your 'A' game to the regional championship and we certainly were not at our best. And they capitalized on that. Give Scott County a lot of credit. They're a great team and a well-coached team, and they have tremendous athletes. If you make mistakes, they're definitely going to capitalize on that."
Scott Co. 8, Franklin Co. 3
Scott County 042 002 0 — 8 10 2
Franklin County 010 002 0 — 3 5 6
Tevis and Ison; Howard and Wiard. W—Tevis. L—Howard. 2B—SC: Stamper. HR—SC: Tevis.
All-tournament team: Jenny Ingram, Berea; Tori White, Henry Clay; Lindsay Anderson, Woodford Co.; Bethany Mays, Madison Southern; Kaitlyn Mitchell and Sarah Cooley, Lafayette; Stephanie Harvey and Riley Brown, Dunbar; Kara Howard, Shelby Sanders and Whitney Edwards, Franklin Co.; Marlee Tevis, Sam Luckett, Katie Stamper and Taylor Ricketts, Scott Co.
Mark Maloney: (859) 231-3229. Blog: markmaloney.bloginky.com