High School Sports

Madison Southern holds off young Dunbar squad in 11th Region tourney

Woodford County’s Paige Hampton got a high-five from Coach Sasha Turansky. Hampton had two hits and a sacrifice fly for three RBI in the 7-0 win over Henry Clay in the 11th Region first round.
Woodford County’s Paige Hampton got a high-five from Coach Sasha Turansky. Hampton had two hits and a sacrifice fly for three RBI in the 7-0 win over Henry Clay in the 11th Region first round.

Madison Southern absorbed a few final punches from a feisty young Paul Dunbar squad in the final first round game, but the Eagles held off the 43rd District champion Bulldogs for a 6-3 win in the 11th Region Tournament Monday at Madison Central.

A two-RBI single by Abby Nash in the top of the first inning gave the Eagles a 2-0 lead, but Dunbar tied the game in the bottom half after Riley Brown and Olivia Judy came up with RBI singles.

Madison Southern added one run in the second inning and three more in the third to open up a 6-2 lead. Dunbar eighth grader Melisa Nelson came on in relief in the fourth inning and held the Eagles scoreless the rest of the way to give the Bulldogs a chance.

In the top of the seventh inning Madison Southern loaded the bases with no outs, but the Bulldogs’ defense erased the threat within seconds. The Eagles’ Taylor Seals slapped a single to left field, but Dunbar freshman Bailey Conley gunned down Alyson Riley at the plate; then catcher Olivia Judy’s throw to third beat the runner and third baseman Brooke Hill’s laser to second cut down Seals to complete a triple play.

The Bulldogs carried that momentum into their final three at bats, loading the bases with two outs for Hill, but her deep fly to left field stayed in the park, sending the Eagles to the semifinals.

Dunbar head coach Jennifer Hill was proud of the way her team fought and talked about how bright the future is for the Bulldogs, who didn’t have a senior on this year’s roster.

“After the game I told them, ‘We don’t graduate anybody, this plays into our favor,’” she said. “We understand what we need to do to get better and next year we’re all back … I was proud of the fact they we were able to come through a tough year and put it all together before the district tournament.”

MADISON CENTRAL 7, LAFAYETTE 0

Madison Central blanked Lafayette in the opening game of the 11th Region Tournament. The Indians jumped on the Generals in the bottom of the first with a two-run bomb over the centerfield wall by Morgan Elliston. That was all the support starting pitcher Courtney Patton needed. The senior threw a complete game shutout, scattering five Lafayette singles while striking out three.

Patton said Elliston’s homer took the weight off her shoulders in the pitching circle.

“I can always count on Morgan to help me out,” she said. “After (the home run) I was really relaxed. I was able to mix all my speeds in and every pitch was working.”

The Indians closed the door with a five-run sixth inning that included a two-run double by Riley Clark.

The win sends the Indians to the region semifinals for the second straight year. Last year they were bounced by Woodford County 4-0, but Elliston says Madison Central is primed to move beyond the semifinals this year.

“I think we’re ready to take the next step,” she said. “This is what we’ve been working hard for all season, so we’re excited to see where it goes.”

WOODFORD CO. 7, HENRY CLAY 0

Strong pitching and three-run frames in the fifth and sixth innings propelled the Yellow Jackets to a two-hit shutout of Henry Clay. Bethany Todd came on in relief of starter Caitlin Karo to start the fifth inning for Woodford and didn’t allow a hit. She helped her own cause with RBI singles in the fifth and sixth.

Paige Hampton had two hits and a sacrifice fly for three RBI in the win. Her single in the bottom of the third got the Yellow Jackets on the board.

“Oh, Paige was huge,” said Woodford County Coach Sasha Turansky. “Once you get that first run it just gives you a sense of relief, so when she comes up and knocks it through the middle to score a run, it was big.”

SCOTT CO. 7, WESTERN HILLS 0

The Scott County offense took a while to heat up, going hitless through the first three innings. But a three-run fourth and four-run fifth were more than enough to bounce the Wolverines. Cardinals pitchers Kennedy Sullivan and CeCe Wittry combined to toss a no-hitter against Western Hills.

Sullivan set the tone in the first inning, fanning the final three batters after allowing a leadoff walk. She and Wittry combined for eleven strikeouts.

“I love Kennedy to death, she’s always clutch,” said sophomore Princess Valencia, who had two hits, two runs and two RBI. “Her shoulder’s kind of sore but that doesn’t bother her. She’s still throwing as hard as she can.”

Senior Taylor Ricketts smacked a two-RBI single to center field to give Scott County a 3-0 lead in the fourth. She said the slow offensive start led to a few nervous Cardinals in the dugout.

“After striking out the first time I knew I needed to step up and give us the lead so we could settle down,” she said. “It was intense in the dugout, there was some nervousness. But every one of us knew we had to do something to get some runs on the board.”

Lafayette

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5

1

Mad.Central

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7

7

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Jeter, Stephens (6) and Eye; Patton and Hendrix. W—Patton. L—Jeter. 2B—MC: Clark. HR—Elliston.

Records—Madison Central 21-8, Lafayette 18-10.

Henry Clay

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0

2

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Woodford Co.

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7

10

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Cooper, Coleman (6) and Miller; Karo, Todd (5) and Hampton. W—Karo. L—Cooper. 2B—HC: White; WC: Karo, Daily, Hampton, Simpson.

Records—Woodford Co. 26-2, Henry Clay 19-12.

Western Hills

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000

0

0

0

2

Scott Co.

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340

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7

7

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Slade and Harrod; Sullivan, Wittry (6) and Ison. W—Sullivan. L—Slade. 2B—SC: Tucker, Ricketts.

Records—Scott Co. 28-2, Western Hills 23-10.

Mad.Southern

213

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0

6

12

1

Paul Dunbar

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0

3

8

3

Napier and Riley; Schweighardt, Conley (3), Nelson (4) and Judy. W—Napier. L—Schweighardt. 2B—P: Conley. MS: Carter.

Records—Madison Southern 14-12, Paul Dunbar 11-13.

Josh Sullivan: 859-231-3225, @sullyjosh

11th Region Tournament

At Madison Central

Tuesday’s semifinals: Madison Central vs. Woodford County, 6 p.m.; Scott County vs. Madison Southern, 8 p.m.

Wednesday’s finals: 7 p.m.

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