High School Sports

11th Region softball: Henry Clay rolls past Lafayette 10-1

FRANKFORT — Memorial Day meant another day in the park for Henry Clay's softball girls.

The Blue Devils opened play in the 11th Region Tournament at Lakeview Park on Monday by battering Lafayette 10-1.

The win over a team that had beaten them 11-5 on April 16 put the Devils into Tuesday's semifinals against Woodford County, a 6-0 winner over Madison Central.

"I knew our team was ready to beat Lafayette. It's been a long time since we have," said Henry Clay leadoff batter Riley Stokes, who had two doubles and two walks in five plate appearances. "We stayed up, stayed focused and just came out like I know we can."

Henry Clay rapped 11 hits, including Sarah Parsons' home run to lead off the sixth inning.

"We wanted to put as much pressure onto them as we could," Coach George Beard said. "We came out, we literally put the bunt down when we needed to — we did everything we wanted to. Execution was really good tonight."

While Henry Clay (16-11) did nearly everything right, Lafayette did the opposite.

The Generals kicked the ball around for four errors, ran themselves out of chances and looked nothing like the team that came in with a 23-12 record.

Henry Clay scored three runs in the first inning, two coming across on a wild pitch.

In the bottom of the inning, back-to-back errors put Lafayette's first two runners on. One out later, both runners were caught off base when catcher Emily Miller threw behind the trail runner. A throw across the diamond nabbed the lead runner, and a return throw caught the trailer.

The tone had been set.

Henry Clay added a pair of unearned runs in the third.

"When they're making those errors like that," Stokes said, "we just have to take advantage of it and just keep playing hard and stay focused."

The Devils scored once in the fourth and three times in the fifth. Parsons' sixth-inning shot to left was the crowning jewel.

Lafayette scored its only run in the fourth. Katelyn Mitchell, who reached on a fielder's choice, scored on another.

But the Generals left the bases loaded, something they would do again in the sixth.

"Ten-to-one always sounds good, but they made some mistakes," Beard said. "You've got to look at that. But we put the ball in play, made those mistakes happen. So I'm happy with them.

"Our pitching was extremely good today. (Starter) Anna Hensley has been hot for us the last four or five games. She's really thrown extremely well. (Closer) Beth Ann Hamilton has now thrown eight innings this year. When she comes in to shut it down, she can shut it down."

Henry Clay 10, Lafayette 1

Henry Clay 302 131 0—10 11 3

Lafayette 000 100 0— 1 8 4

Hensley, Hamilton (5) and Miller; Vescio and Mitchell. 2B—Stokes 2 (HC). HR—Parson (HC).

Tuesday's semifinals

At Lakeview Park, Frankfort

6 p.m.: Woodford Co. vs. Henry Clay

8 p.m.: Scott Co. vs. Franklin Co.

Related stories from Lexington Herald Leader