Woodford County mounted a late rally, but the Yellow Jackets ultimately couldn’t muster enough runs to overcome East Carter in a KHSAA Softball State Tournament elimination game Friday night at Jack C. Fisher Park.
The Raiders advanced to the fourth round of loser’s bracket play for the second straight season with a 3-2 win. They were scheduled to play Owensboro Catholic at about 7:30 p.m. CST.
Ariel Dailey, a senior who’s committed to Louisiana Tech, drove in Woodford County’s two runs with a two-out double in the top of the seventh inning. A groundout in Woodford’s next at-bat ended the game.
East Carter took a 1-0 in the bottom of the first inning and extended it to 3-0 on a two-run homer by junior star Montana Fouts.
Woodford County Coach Les Anderson pinned the loss entirely on himself. He intentionally walked Fouts in her first plate appearance but opted to not do it her next time up.
“I blew the game,” Anderson said, unprompted. “I should have walked Fouts. … So it hurts. They did enough. I didn’t.”
Anderson was visibly emotional moments after one of the best seasons in Woodford County history ended. The Yellow Jackets won a school-record 34 games and reached the state tournament for only the second time in program history. At No. 2 in the final coaches’ poll of the season, Woodford County was the highest-ranked team coming into the event.
In addition to Dailey, Woodford County graduates four other seniors: Caitlin Karo, Marly Maristany, Kyla Simpson and Bethany Todd. Karo (Tennessee-Martin), Maristany (Pikeville) and Todd (Kentucky) will play college softball.
“It’s hard to really put into words,” Anderson said of his seniors. “I’m as close to ’em as I am my own kids.”
Todd gave up five hits and struck out 13 of the batters she faced. Fouts, who’s committed to Alabama, gave up six hits and struck out six.
The quick turnaround last season did not treat East Carter kindly; the Raiders lost 7-6 to Daviess County in their final game in 2016.
“Hopefully we’ve got one more in us,” East Carter Coach Derek Calhoun said. “I think the girls are ready. We got in this situation last year and kinda ran outta gas, so we’ll see how it goes.”
BOX SCORE: East Carter 3, Woodford County 2