Georgetown — Scott County softball coach Scott Walters directed what seemed like organized chaos Tuesday night as his team finished final preparations for state competition.
Nearly 30 coaches and players filled the diamond, divided by general position to work on pitching, shagging fly balls and turning double plays. Walters, who is wrapping up his fourth season as head coach, finished practice by putting his first-team defense on the field to practice in-game scenarios and decision-making while the non-starters batted.
Eleventh Region champ No. 8 Scott County (32-7-1) opens play in the 2012 KHSAA State High School Fastpitch Softball Tournament Thursday at 7 p.m. in Owensboro against No. 3 Greenwood (36-5).
The 16-team, double-elimination tournament at the Jack C. Fisher Park will conclude with the state championship game Saturday afternoon.
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The Cardinals have faced strong competition this season, going 2-3 against teams in the state tournament and 5-0 against region runners-up. They also feel as though they have faced tough out-of-state competition that will help prepare them for championship play.
"We went to Tennessee and played their number one and number two down there," Walters said. "We tried to play as many good teams as we could so we could get prepared for this."
Scott County is led by sophomore pitcher Marlee Tevis, who won the 11th Region Tournament Most Valuable Player Award.
Tevis pitched all but one inning in the region tourney, and boasts a 2.06 ERA with a 26-5 record. She also is the typical number three batter in the lineup, hitting .438 with 28 RBI for the season.
Junior catcher Kelsey Crowe is batting .364 with 23 RBI.
"Kelsey has been my catcher forever. It is nice to have that connection," Tevis said. "We get along really well. We even hang out outside of softball."
Getting an early win will be crucial. A Thursday win against Greenwood puts the Cardinals two winners'-bracket Friday wins away from Saturday's final-four play, but a loss puts them four losers'-bracket Friday wins away.
"We played some tournaments where we have played six games in one day," Walters said. "We were fortunate to get long days in those tournaments so we can draw from that."