Sarah Mathis had no idea what she had done until her coach handed her the game ball.
"A no-hitter," he said with a smile.
The Henry Clay junior wasn't sure she heard him right.
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But indeed she did, throwing her first no-hit gem of the season in a 3-0 victory over Western Hills in the first round of the 11th Region softball tournament Monday night.
"I was just so excited," she said of a performance in which she allowed only one baserunner after the first inning and struck out five.
"She pitched a great ball game and the girls played great defense behind her," Coach Chris Hould said.
He didn't know until Monday that Mathis would even be able to pitch after she was knocked out of the district title game with a hard shot to her right leg.
Mathis' catcher, Emily Miller, provided the offensive firepower at the UK Softball Complex, sending in two runs in the fifth inning with her single.
"I don't know how many deep breaths I took," Miller said of the outside, low fastball that she drove into the outfield.
Hould was impressed with her composure in a game that was getting tighter and tighter as each inning progressed.
"A little seventh-grader with that much pressure," Hould said. "Wow. You've got to love what she did."
Jordan Rawlins added a third run when she coasted in on a wild pitch.
The Devils (14-17), who have won three of their past four games, will meet Madison Central in the second semifinal Tuesday night. The headliner will be No. 8 Scott County against No. 12 Lafayette at 6 p.m.
Hould likes his team's confidence.
"They're starting to believe and they can see it starting to pay off and it's fun to watch," he said. "It's been fun to watch their light bulbs go off."
Lafayette 4, Franklin Co. 1: In the past few seasons, the region tournament hasn't been a fun place for the Generals, who have seen some of their best teams fall in big games.
But they got off to a good start on Monday, toppling No. 14 Franklin County to advance.
"We seem to not always do well in these kinds of situations, but we showed some maturity today," Coach Dana Taylor said.
Lafayette, which has won four of its last five games, scored two runs early on Cassidy Taylor's single and an error that allowed her courtesy runner to score.
The early lead helped Taylor on the mound, where she allowed just two hits, striking out four.
Lauren Mitchell doubled to left and then went home on Lauren Brockman's triple in the fourth inning. Brockman crossed the plate on Katelyn Mitchell's sacrifice bunt to make it 4-0.
In the sixth, Franklin County Coach Tracy Spickard hotly contested a batter interference call that initially negated a run and called out a runner heading to third base.
After the protest, two other Flyers batters (including what could have been the tying run) got to second and third base before Lafayette got out of the inning.
Scott Co. 4, Madison Southern 3: It was a drama-filled final inning in the first game.
First, the Eagles' Paige King scored the game-tying run on a Tanner Tevis wild pitch.
With the potential go-ahead run at third and a full count, Tevis collapsed to the ground with what appeared to be shortness of breath.
Her sister, freshman Marlee Tevis, the first baseman, had to move over immediately and relieve her sister. The younger Tevis struck out the next two batters and then thwarted a bunt attempt to end the inning.
The drama continued in the bottom of the inning when Kaitlyn Spears' shot to shallow left scored Paige Johnson to lift the Cardinals (26-4) to the semifinals. It was Spears' only hit of the game. The Cardinals scored their other three runs in the third inning.
Tanner Tevis appeared to be OK after the game, participating in the post-game handshake.
Madison Central 9, Paul Dunbar 2: The fourth inning was a disaster for the Bulldogs and a thing of beauty for the Indians.
Dunbar had a 2-1 advantage heading into the bottom of the fourth before Central scored seven runs on five hits and three errors by the Bulldogs (15-17).
Haylee King and Katelyn Arthur combined to hold the Bulldogs to two hits in seven innings for Central (15-20), which won its third straight.
Madison Southern 000 200 1—3 5 2
Scott Co. 003 000 1—4 4 3
Chelsey Morgeson, Jessica Helton (7) and Paige King. Tanner Tevis, Marlee Tevis (7) and Kelsey Crowe. W—M. Tevis. L—Helton.
Records—Madison So. 19-12, Scott Co. 26-4.
Franklin Co. 000 001 0—1 5 1
Lafayette 200 200 x—4 6 2
Emily Hampton and Brandi Allen. Cassidy Taylor, Emily Kincaid (5), Taylor (6) and Alexis Hull. W—Taylor. L—Hampton. 2B—Ashli Mayes (FC), Lauren Mitchell (L). 3B—Lauren Brockman (L).
Records—Franklin Co. 29-8-1, Lafayette 22-10.
Paul Dunbar 000 200 0—2 2 5
Madison Central 001 710 x—9 9 1
Shelby Shanks, Kaylie Zander (3), Shanks (4), Zander (5) and Stephanie Harvey. Haylee King, Katelyn Arthur (5), King (7) and Katie Lamb. W—King. L—Shanks. 2B—Michele Smith (MC), Kristen Congleton (MC).
Records—Paul Dunbar 15-17, Madison Central 15-20.
Henry Clay 000 030 0—3 6 0
Western Hills 000 000 0—0 0 1
Sarah Mathis and Emily Miller. Krystal Cammuse and Tabitha Barnes. W—Mathies. L—Cammuse. 2B—Shandra Williams (HC).
Records—Henry Clay 14-17, Western Hills 13-22.