High School Sports

Kentucky’s defending baseball and softball champs eliminated before state tournament

St. Xavier’s Alex Smith kissed the Kentucky state championship trophy after his team’s win against Highlands.
St. Xavier’s Alex Smith kissed the Kentucky state championship trophy after his team’s win against Highlands. swalker@herald-leader.com

Kentucky will have new state champions in baseball and softball in 2019.

St. Xavier, last year’s KHSAA state champion in baseball, fell to rival Trinity, 8-4, in the 7th Region championship game. Scott County, which won the softball title in 2018, fell to Madison Southern, 10-9, in the 11th Region semifinals. The games went final about six minutes apart from one another on Tuesday.

The similarities between the programs are striking. Both had won two of the last three state championships in their respective sports, each in 2016 and 2018. St. Xavier is the all-time leader in baseball titles with eight, three over the last six seasons. Scott County’s three championships — tied for second-most — also came over the last six seasons; both teams won their first title in that span in 2014.

It was the first year since 2011 that Scott County didn’t qualify for the 11th Region softball championship game.

This year’s baseball championship game will feature two different finalists from a year ago; Highlands, whom St. X defeated for the 2018 crown, lost to Beechwood in the 9th Region final on Tuesday. Warren East, Scott County’s opponent in last year’s softball final, is scheduled to play in the 4th Region championship on Wednesday.

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