OWENSBORO — Scott County found itself in a 3-0 hole through four innings Thursday.
Not to worry.
The Cardinals broke through for two runs in the fifth and four more in the sixth en route to a 7-3 win over East Jessamine in the opening round of the Worth/KHSAA Fast Pitch Softball State Tournament at Jack C. Fisher Park.
"We've talked all year — we don't give up until the very end," winning coach Jeff Portwood said. "Sometimes we get down, like we did tonight, but we battled back. We didn't show any quit. Good leadership from our seniors in the middle of the pack in the fifth and sixth innings.
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"Very pleased with what we did the last three or four innings. The first couple of innings, we come out a little slow. Understandably here in the State Tournament a little bit of nerves set in, but I think we'll be OK now."
East Jessamine (30-10) took a 3-0 lead in the second inning. Felicia Farmer singled in a pair of runs, and she later scored on a fielder's choice.
Those would be the only runs allowed by Marlee Tevis.
Sixth-ranked Scott County (29-8) began its comeback when No. 9 hitter Kelci Long belted a two-run homer in the fifth.
"That's pretty sweet to get that out of the nine hole," Portwood said. "Great hit. She's been working hard. She's a senior. She knew she had to step up if she wanted to stay in this, and she did. I'm proud of her."
An inning later, the Cardinals added four runs. Sam Luckett delivered a two-run double, and Jordan Ison crashed a two-run homer.
Scott County added a run in the seventh on Sam Smith's double.
Katie Stamper finished with three of Scott County's 10 hits. Sam Smith and Taylor Ricketts had two each.
Jessica Tucker had two of East Jessamine's six hits.
Anderson Co. 9, Johnson Central 1: Bailey Curry cranked a pair of home runs to lead the No. 18 Lady Cats.
Curry gave Anderson all the runs it would need with a two-run homer in the top of the first inning.
She added a solo shot in the sixth, her 18th dinger of the season, and had a two-run single in the fourth.
"Just knowing that my team's behind me and we're just doing this as a team, trying to get better and seeing where we can take it," Curry said. "Teammates got on base, and we're just hitting the ball, making sure we get the ball in play. And if it goes, it goes.
"I was actually really nervous when we got out here, but when we just started playing, we've just got to know it's just a game and just keep playing as hard as we can."
Autumn Beasley also had a two-run homer for Anderson (28-8).
That was more than enough support for winning pitcher Mia Aldridge.
Aldridge gave up a first-inning run, but Johnson Central (25-9) left the bases loaded and was held to three hits in the game.
Curry and Sammy Rogers each had three of Anderson County's 13 hits.
South Laurel 5, Clark Co. 2: Nellesha Murray had two hits and drove in three runs to lead South Laurel in a meeting of Cardinals.
Hagan Burns added two hits to the winning cause.
Erin Carrus led Clark County with three hits.
McCracken Co. 7, Ashland Blazer 0 (10): After nine scoreless innings, the top-ranked Mustangs blew the game open.
Jacqueline Roof's bloop single over first base drove in the first run and opened the floodgates.
Rachel Ridolfi added a two-run double, and Kalli Harris belted a three-run homer. Another run scored on an error.
Winning pitcher Jenny Chapman held the Kittens to one hit, a second-inning double by Hayley Kilburn.
Highlands 4, Estill Co. 1: Shelby Graybill's two-run homer in the first inning set the Bluebirds on the victory path.
Taylor Wiseman collected two of Estill County's five hits.
Mercy 4, Madisonville-North Hopkins 0: Leigh Ellen Thomas tossed a three-hitter as No. 8 Mercy advanced.
Erika Downey led the winners with two runs and two hits. Thomas added a hit and two RBI.