One would imagine that Cassidy Taylor was holding it together by a navy and red thread.
The pitcher took the mound despite her mother and head coach Dana Taylor leaving just as the team took the field for warm-ups because of a family emergency.
Cassidy's younger sister had an accident at their home and needed to be taken to an emergency room.
The junior, pitching for the 43rd District championship, tried to stay strong despite the obvious distractions.
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"My sister's tough, I knew she was going to be all right," Taylor said. "But without my mom over there and my dad to look at and keep me focused in such a big, huge game, it was really tough.
"My team definitely helped me through it."
It took every part of a team effort to help the host Lady Generals earn their second straight tournament title 6-3 over a surging Paul Laurence Dunbar team.
Both teams move onto the 11th Region Tournament, which starts Monday at the University of Kentucky Softball Complex.
Taylor didn't pitch her best game, giving up 10 hits to the Bulldogs, but she did work her way out of a seventh-inning jam that saw Dunbar star Corie Roberts at the plate as the potential tying run.
Roberts, who had gone 2-for-3 before that at-bat, flied out to second base to end the game.
Leadoff batter Lauren Mitchell opened Lafayette's half of the first with a home run on the second pitch of her at-bat to give the Generals a 1-0 lead.
Dunbar responded an inning later when speedster Ashton Salyers beat out an infield throw to collect the RBI to make it 1-1. Salyers led all hitters with three hits.
No. 4 Lafayette didn't waste much time responding, when Alyssa Oakley scored the go-ahead run in the fourth inning on a line drive over the fence in deep right-center field.
Not to be outdone, the next batter, Taylor hit her second homer of the tournament up and over the center-field wall.
"We needed that boost and those two got us over the hill," Taylor said.
It was the 25th and 26th home runs of the season for the hard-hitting Generals, who came into the game averaging eight runs a game.
Oakley was proud of Taylor for keeping it together.
"I was extremely impressed," Oakley said. "In that situation I don't know what I would have done. We had her back. We rely on each other."
Taylor was named tournament Most Valuable Player.
"She played remarkably," Generals assistant coach Chris Hould said. "She fought through it. What a courageous, valiant effort."
Hould was impressed by Dunbar's play, too.
"They've grown every game we've played them," he said. "They're getting better and better. They're going to be a tough out in the regional."
Dunbar picked up two more runs in the fifth to pull within a run, 4-3.
A sacrifice fly by Mitchell in the sixth inning gave the Generals some breathing room.
Dunbar threatened with runners at second and third in the seventh inning, but couldn't quite get there.
Coach Mike Wainscott was pleased with the Bulldogs' effort and attitude going forward.
"It should carry over into the region because they feel good about what we did and that's important," he said.
Paul Dunbar 010 020 0—3 10 1
Lafayette 100 311 x—6 8 0
Kaylie Zander and Corie Roberts. Cassidy Taylor and Alexis Hull. W—Taylor. L—Zander. 2B—Zander (PLD), Heather Oakley (L), Lauren Brockman (L). HR—Lauren Mitchell (L), Alyssa Oakley (L), Taylor (L).
All-Tournament team — MVP: Cassidy Taylor, Lafayette; Heather Oakley, Alyssa Oakley and Lauren Mitchell, Lafayette; Corie Roberts, Kaylie Zander and Ashton Salyers, Dunbar; Lindsay Griggs and Rachel Hollembaek, Lexington Catholic; Ashley Block and Megan Banahan, Tates Creek; Emily Yocum and Shelby Slusher, Lexington Christian.
Sarah Howard pitched a no-hitter, and Scott County cruised to the 42nd District title with a 5-0 win over Bryan Station. Howard, a senior, has signed to play softball at Providence next year.
42nd District at Sayre
Bryan Station 000 000 0—0 0 3
Scott Co. 003 101 x—5 5 0
Hamilton, Hoovler (4) and Brock. Howard and Lewis. W—Howard. L—Hamilton. 2B—Saunders (SC).