Middle school-dominated Lady Cougars win softball disrict
By Jim Turner

Posted on May 30, 2016 12:09 AM

Find a team playing in the Kentucky High School Athletic Association softball regional tournaments this week younger than the Logan County Lady Cougars, and that precocious group would probably require daytime games. They might be too young to play outside after dark.

The LCHS offensive lineup which Coach Brandy Nuyt Trimble sent out on the Todd Central field to take on perennial champion Franklin-Simpson consisted of two seventh graders, four eighth graders, two freshmen and one senior. The two courtesy runners were freshmen. Frshman Rosie Kerchenski plays in the outfield.

And they won! The Lady Cougars beat the Lady Cats 5-4. Ending Franklin’s six-year championship streak, the Lady Cougars won the program’s first district title in seven years and only the second this century. Winning pitcher Abby Hinton and leadoff batter Kaylin Page were in kindergarten that year. The last time Franklin didn’t win the district, Lady Cats seniors Cynthia Chaney, Hanah Thurmond and Alannah Fuller were fifth graders.

What proved to be the winning run scored in the fourth inning. Freshman Pressley Harris and Hinton began the inning with singles. Page forced Harris at third and Pollard popped out to Chaney at third. Eighth grader Brea Croslin—who joins senior Torrie Pollard as the only returning starters from last year who decided to play this year—walked to load the bases. Then cleanup hitter Kennedy Nichols, an eighth grader, reached on an error that scored freshman courtesy runner Sarah Beth Hale with that winning tally.

The Lady Cougars scored their first run in the first inning. Pollard singled, but Croslin forced her. Nichols reached on an error in this inning, too, and Croslin scored on the play.

The other three runs scored in the third inning. With an out, Page singled, Pollard reached on an error, and Croslin doubled in Page. Nichols singled in Pollard and gave way to freshman courtesy runner Blayke Bingham, who ran for Kennedy three times in the game. After an out, eighth grader Sydnie Lee singled in Croslin.

Franklin gave the Lady Cougars a scare in the late innings. In the sixth inning, Macey Johnson and Thurmond hit back-to-back doubles with Thurmond driving in Johnson.

In the seventh and final inning, Makinlee Webb led off with a single. It was her third hit and fourth time on base. Hinton got Allie Pendleton to fly out to Pollard in centerfield, but Madison Davis reached on an error that scored both her and Webb. That brought Lady Cat cleanup hitter Fuller to the plate with the potential to end the game, but Hinton struck her out.

Jessie Bellar, who is also an F-S basketball standout, was Franklin’s last hope. Hinton got her to ground out to Croslin at short, and she made the throw to freshman first baseman Jillian McLellan to end the game and the tournament.

Hinton gave up four runs (two earned) on eight hits and no walks while striking out four. Two-thirds of her 102 pitches were strikeouts.

Franklin’s Davis, a freshman who is the granddaughter of Alan Neal of Logan County, got the loss while allowing only one earned run. She gave up nine hits on one walk and six strikeouts. She threw 73 strikes on 105 pitches.

Pendleton and Davis supported Webb’s three hits with two each.

Lady Cougars 14, Todd Central 1

This game was expected to be much closer than this. In fact, the Lady Rebels were the number two seed and the Lady Cougars number three.

Nichols had three hits with Pollard, McLellan and Lee adding two each. Freshman Abby Canler and Pollard each doubled while Page and Harris got a hit apiece. Pollard, who walked twice, was on base four times. So were Nichols, who reached on an error to go with her trio of hits, and Lee. Who coupled a walk and a reached on an error to her two hits. McLellan walked to reach three times.

Canler and Kennedy had three RBIs each with McLellan and Harris adding one each. Bingham and Pollard both scored four runs with Page and McLellan crossing the plate twice each. Hale and Lee also scored.

Lee pitched the complete, five-inning win. She gave up the run on four hits and a walk. Only one of the runs was earned. Forty of her 63 pitches were strikes.

Tishe Lewis, Tara Walters and Amy Brumfield all pitched for Coach Leigh Bristow’s Lady Rebels. Amy Brumfield, Lewis, Michaela Robertson and Kendra Johnson got the hits. Brumfield picked up the walk. Lewis drove in Robertson with the lone run.


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