BEREA — Scott County's Megan Glover could have played center field most of the game with no glove.
Cardinal starting pitcher Marlee Tevis held Madison Central hitless for the first four innings, and 21 Lady Indian batters came to the plate without sending a ball Glover's direction.
But with Scott County clinging to a 3-0 lead and the bases loaded for the Indians with two outs in the bottom of the fifth, senior cleanup hitter Kristin Congleton sent a high fly ball toward center field which could have cleared the bases if dropped or misplayed.
Glover made the inning-ended catch, Scott County tacked on three more runs and Tevis, a sophomore, closed out the Indians to give Scott County a 6-0 win over Madison Central in the 11th Region championship game at Madison Southern on Thursday.
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Scott County will represent the 11th Region in the Rawlings/KHSAA State High School Fastpitch Softball Tournament at Owensboro June 7-9.
Madison Central starting pitcher MacKenzie Wilder held Scott County to three hits and one run over the first three innings.
"We got back to that swing-at-the-first-pitch-and-flare-it, so we weren't hitting it as hard as we usually do," said Scott County Coach Scott Walters.
The Cardinals used small-ball techniques of pinch runners, sacrifice bunts and stolen bases to manufacture runs in both the fourth and fifth innings to take a 3-0 lead.
"Every time you can scratch a run in, it is an advantage," Walters said.
The Indians threatened in the fifth, with a MacKenzie Humphrey double and a Kirstin Spillman single. When Jodi Cline drew a walk, it loaded the bases with two outs.
Congleton flew out to Glover in center field to end the Indian rally.
"I saw it and knew it was near me. I was nervous, but then I caught it, so everything was good," said Glover about the catch.
Walters said that he expects that sort of focus in the outfield from a senior like Glover.
"We have a saying that 'every pitch will be hit where?' and their answer has to be 'towards me," Walters said. "So they have to be on the balls of their feet, ready to go on every pitch."
Scott County sent all nine batters to the plate in the 6th inning, scoring three more runs to extend their lead to 6-0.
Tevis pitched a complete game for Scott County, allowing four hits and striking out nine.
"I trust them 100 percent and that is how it has been all season," Tevis said about the Scott County defensive effort.
Tevis was also 3-for-5 at the plate including a triple and an off-the-wall single.
Tevis was named the 11th Region Tournament Most Valuable Player.
"She is a battler, even when her control is a little off," Walters said. "She is about the most determined and intense lady I have been around in a while. She is a warrior and isn't going to give in."
The team will take a couple of days off then begin preparing for the state tournament Sunday.
After reaching the region semifinals the three previous years, Madison Central moved a step closer in Daniel Rogers' fourth year as head coach but couldn't advance to the state tournament.
"We just couldn't get the job done today. Give credit to Scott County," Rogers said. "They made some fantastic plays. They're a heck of a ball team."
Senior third baseman Congleton was proud of everything the Indians had accomplished.
"We're all upset about not making it to state, but we have nothing to hang our heads over," she said. "We gave it everything we had."
Scott Co. 100 113 0—6 10 0
Madison Central 000 000 0—0 4 5
Marlee Tevis and Kelsey Crowe. Mackenzie Wilder, Olivia Moon (6) and Jadelyn Rice. 2B—Mackenzie Humphry (MC), Kelsey Crowe (SC), Elaina Johnson (SC) 3B—Marlee Tevis (SC)
Records—Scott Co. 32-7-1, Madison Central 24-13
11th Region All-Tournament team — Marlee Tevis (MVP), Michal Luckett, Kelsey Crow and Elaina Johnson of Scott Co. Kristin Congleton, Jodi Clines and Morgan Winkler of Madison Central; Katie Fletcher and Andrea Graham of Woodford Co.; Mary Carter Downing of Tates Creek; Riley Stokes of Henry Clay; Jessica Helton of Madison Southern; Emily Bryan of Paul Dunbar; Kara Howard and Shelby Sanders of Franklin Co.