No. 17 Franklin County applied pressure.
No. 6 Scott County applied the mercy rule.
Both applications proved effective Tuesday as Franklin County and Scott County advanced to the finals of the 11th Region softball tournament at Bryan Station.
Franklin County upended Lafayette 7-1, and Scott County bombed Dunbar 15-4 in five innings.
The finals are set for 6 p.m. Wednesday.
Franklin Co. 7, Lafayette 1: No big innings for the Flyers (29-8-1). Just a steady job of applying pressure.
“I was real proud of our effort again today,” Coach Tracy Spickard said. “Again, like (Monday), we said that we’ve got to put pressure on the other team absolutely as much as we can; we want to (apply pressure) every inning and we did. In the first inning, we didn’t execute a couple things to be able to get that go-ahead run right out of the gate. But we came back the second inning and did so. Overall, very pleased with our effort at the plate, putting continuous pressure on them.”
Franklin parlayed a single, a walk and an error to score twice in the second, then got a two-run homer in the third by Whitney Edwards.
Edwards also came up with a run-scoring double in a two-run seventh. Shelby Brown knocked in the Flyers’ other run in the fifth.
“She had a great day at the plate,” Spickard said of Edwards. “She was extremely focused at the plate. She was relaxed, yet focused. She was looking for the pitch that was going to give her the opportunity to drive the ball and to put some runs across the plate. And that’s what she did.”
Meanwhile, Kara Howard kept Lafayette off the board until the seventh inning.
“We just mixed it up — fastball, changeup, in and out, up and down,” Howard said. “And that was our plan, to keep them really off balance. Because what we saw (Monday) was they were really hitting the ball. They’re a good team. ... Defensively we made the plays. So really proud of my team for (playing well) behind me.”
Katelyn Mitchell’s RBI single with two outs in the seventh spoiled the shutout.
“We’ve been excited about getting to this point and we were hoping for a couple more games there,” said Kevin Stephens, coach of the Generals (21-14). “But I was proud of the girls. They had a really great season. Tonight, they left everything on the field. They gave maximum ... so I just couldn’t be prouder of them.”
Scott Co. 15, Dunbar 4: The Cardinals’ first eight batters scored in a nine-run first inning.
“I think we finally got it,” Coach Jeff Portwood said. “That’s the way our bats looked earlier in the year. They came back right out of the gate. Halie Fain started us off and they never looked back. Very proud of our offense.
“Defense, we kind of set back and let the ball play us on a couple of things there at the end. ... It’s nothing we can’t take care of.”
Leadoff batter Fain and Katie Stamper finished with three hits each as the Cardinals improved to 27-8. Sam Luckett added a two-run homer off the scoreboard in left.
To its credit, Dunbar (19-13-2) tried to scrap back with a pair of runs in the third and two more in the fifth.
“I think the difference between the two programs right now is our kids had not been to that point in postseason play before and so it got ahead of them,” Bulldogs Coach Jenny Hill said. “My hat is off to Scott County. They’re used to this. They’re used to this level. And I think my kids just came out a little tentative and scared tonight.
“We are a whole lot more talented than what we showed tonight, so the score doesn’t dictate how good they really are, unfortunately.”
Franklin County 7, Lafayette 1
Franklin County 022 010 2—7 8 2
Lafayette 000 000 1—1 11 3
Howard and Wiard. Stephens and Mitchell. W—Howard. L—Stephens. 2B—FC: Edwards. HR—FC: Edwards.
Scott County 15, Paul Dunbar 4 (5)
Scott County 920 40—15 14 4
Paul Dunbar 002 02— 4 4 5
Tevis and Ison. Morgan, Wilson (1), Fox (1), Morgan (2) and Ferguson. W—Tevis. L—Morgan. 2B—SC: Fain, Tevis, Stamper, Ricketts; D: Wilson. HR—SC: Luckett.