High School Sports

Lafayette rolls to 11th Region softball title

Lafayette's Cassidy Taylor hugged Brittany Sims, left, as the Generals celebrated their 11th Region championship Wednesday.
Lafayette's Cassidy Taylor hugged Brittany Sims, left, as the Generals celebrated their 11th Region championship Wednesday.

The Generals set up their blockade, aimed and fired.

Using squirt bottles and an oversized cooler full of ice water, Lafayette's players hit their primary target: Coach Dana Taylor.

With a 10-0 win over Henry Clay in five innings on Wednesday night, they hit another target, too, earning a trip to the state softball tournament.

The No. 12 Generals drew back-to-back bases-loaded walks in the fifth inning to end the game on the mercy rule and grab the 11th Region title at the University of Kentucky Softball Complex.

"This means the world to me, it really does," Dana Taylor said of taking the Generals to their first state tournament since 2004.

The team has four seniors, including Taylor's daughter, Cassidy, who gave up just one hit in five complete innings.

"They're all so deserving," Dana Taylor said. "They've worked so hard. They've overcome so much this season. We gave them the hardest schedule in history as far as I'm concerned."

Their big-game experience against top competition helped them advance in the region Tournament, outscoring opponents 21-2. Those foes included No. 14 Franklin County and No. 8 Scott County, which had won the region three of the past four seasons.

Coach Taylor was happy to see Lafayette (24-10) settle back in and earn its title after Tuesday night's big win over Scott County.

"We got over the emotional hump last night with Scott County, but we knew Henry Clay was playing well and they were going to come in here ready to go," she said.

"We're peaking when we need to be."

Even though teenaged girls aren't always known to agree with their mothers, Cassidy Taylor did.

"We're definitely pulling together at the right time," Taylor said. "We're feeling pretty good."

On a team full of playmakers, junior Brittany Sims earned Most Valuable Player honors. The leadoff batter did her job again Tuesday night, starting the game with a hit that got Lafayette rolling. She went home on Taylor's double.

"I just try to get on base and score a run and get us on the board first," Sims said. "It definitely gets us in the right mind-set, and we can go from there."

Sims scored three runs on Wednesday night, including one in the five-run fourth inning, when the Generals put the game out of reach.

Taylor went 3-for-4 with a double. Alyssa Oakley and Katelyn Mitchell also had multiple hits for the Generals, who have won six straight. Emily Kincaid added a double and three RBI in the win.

Henry Clay (15-18), playing in the program's first region championship game, returns all but one starter next season.

Henry Clay 000 00— 0 1 2

Lafayette 201 52—10 12 0

Sarah Mathis, Beth Ann Hamilton (4) and Emily Miller. Cassidy Taylor and Alexis Hull. W—Taylor. L—Mathis. 2B—Taylor (L), Emily Kincaid (L).

Records — Henry Clay 15-18, Lafayette 24-10.

All-Tournament Team

MVP—Brittany Sims (Lafayette).

Cassidy Taylor, Lauren Brockman and Lauren Mitchell (Lafayette); Sarah Mathis, Emily Miller and Riley Stokes (Henry Clay); Tanner Tevis and Kaitlyn Spears (Scott Co.); Haylee King and Katie Lamb (Madison Central); Chelsey Morgenson (Madison Southern); Emily Hampton (Franklin Co.); Crystal Cammuse (Western Hills); Stephanie Harvey (Paul Laurence Dunbar).