Softball Clash features pair of outstanding teams
By Jim Turner

Posted on April 16, 2024 12:23 PM

Deciding which sport is best for the combined high school teams in the Land of Logan is real simple this season. Not only do both the Logan County Lady Cougars and Russellville Lady Panthers have impressive winning records, but they also are both ranked high in the region.

Coach Gary Gettings’ Lady Cougars sport a 13-3 record and are rated the third best softball team in the Fourth Region, according to the Kentucky High School Athletic Association’s RPI (.62587).

Coach Ryan Davenport’s Lady Panthers are currently 15-6 on the season. That’s the second-highest number of wins among the region’s 17 teams, and RHS has the sixth-highest RPI (.59661).

In no other revenue sport have both teams put together a winning record this season. In fact, the only other teams with winning records have been Cougar football and Lady Panther soccer. Both Logan County basketball teams finished with .500 records.

So, softball stands supreme, and these two regional powers are scheduled to play each other this evening in the first Clash of the Lady Cats of 2024. Russellville will be the host team with the first pitch scheduled for 5:30.

The Lady Panthers have been on a roll, winning seven of their last eight games in an 11-day span. They won all four of their games in the Queen City Classic in Clarksville April 5-6 with victories over Tennessee teams Beech, Clarksville, Northwest and East Robertson.

After a loss to a good Warren East team in the Softball Coaches Association Tournament, also in Clarksville, they won both games they hosted in the Kelly Russell Classic last weekend, edging Rossview and Butler County. Then Monday they romped 17-4 over Warren Central in four innings in Bowling Green.

The Penrod sisters lead the Lady Panthers in statistics. Senior catcher Madison Penrod is hitting .424 with 3 homers, 9 doubles, 28 hits, 23 RBIs and 12 walks, all team-highs. Sophomore Chloe Penrod has a 12-3 pitching record with a 3.58 ERA, giving up 63 runs (45 earned) and a 42-12 strikeouts-to-walks ratio.

Crissy Higgins is hitting .400 with 26 hits and 11 walks. Raleigh Roberts is hitting .349 with 3 homers, 22 hits, 6 doubles and 13 RBIs. Ja’eda Poindexter has 22 hits, 19 runs scored and 9 stolen bases. Reese Croslin is hitting .322 with 3 homers and 21 hits. Akiah Bell has stolen 10 bases, walked 8 times, gotten 21 hits and scored a team-high 26 runs. Seventh grader Lexi Triplett is batting .283 with 2 doubles and a triplesamong her 15 hits.

The Lady Panthers have stolen 51 bases in 52 tries.

The Lady Cougars have won eight of their last nine games, including going four of five in the Florida Softball Beach Bash during spring break. They won over Kentucky teams Adair County, Henry County and Corbin by a combined score of 24-1 while smashing home team Fort Walton Beach 15-4. The lone loss was to Oldham County 8-6.

Division I signee Emerson McKinnis is showing her credentials every time she comes to bat. She is hitting an even .800 with 24 hits, 18 walks, 9 homers, 5 doubles and 23 RBIs. She has struck out only twice in about 50 plate appearances.

Hailey Burgess would be leading most teams in batting with her .407 average. She has a homer and 3 doubles among her 24 hits. College signee Nora Epley is hitting .364 with 22 hits and a team-high 22 runs scored. She has 7 extra-base hits with 3 each of homers and doubles along with a triple. Trinity Case has identical extra-base numbers as Epley and is batting .339 with 19 hits and 18 RBIs. Kinley Hollway has 16 hits on the way to a .339 average. Keirsten Harper is batting .333 with a homer, and Sydni Blick is the fourth Lady Cougar with 3 or more homers and is tied for third in RBIs with 14.

Shayla Johnson has an 8-2 pitching record and a 2.33 ERA. Fellow starter Burgess has a 1.75 ERA, and reliever Addison Cartas is 4-0 with 3 saves and a 1.38 ERA.

The Lady Cougars have been successful on all 24 of their stolen base tries, making the two teams 75 of 76 going into today’s Clash.


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