The Logan County Lady Cougars have won yet another softball game on a walk-off hit. This was a big one, since it not only was a district win, but it was against crosstown friendly rival Russellville Thursday at LCHS.
The Lady Cougars went into the bottom of the seventh with the game tied 3-3. Number nine hitter Rosie Kerchenski was hit by a pitch and then stole second and third. After walking leadoff hitter Brea Croslin, veteran Lady Panther pitcher Tara Gilbert got a clutch strikeout of Sydney Lee. Then she walked the powerful Kennedy Nichols to load the bases.
Cleanup hitter Abby Canler then got a hit to drive in Kerchenski with the winning fourth run. It would have been a double and Croslin would have scored, too, but Coach Brandy Trimble’s defending district champions only needed one run.
The Lady Panthers put together a two-out, three-run third inning to take and keep the lead most of the game. Senior Macy Meacham singled to lead off the inning. Starting Lady Cougar pitcher Lee struck out Taryn Gray, before seventh grader Lilly Newman successfully sacrifice-bunted Meacham over. Senior Cierra Collins singled in Meacham, and junior Susanna Higgins was hit by a pitch. Number three hitter Gilbert, a senior, then put the ball in play, it was booted, and both Collins and Higgins scored to make it 3-0 RHS.
Logan got two of those runs back in a hurry when the Lady Cougars’ most experienced player, Croslin, homered with two outs in the bottom of the third. Scoring ahead of her was Kerchenski, who had singled.
The Lady Cougars scored a third run in the fourth inning. After Gilbert struck out Canler, sophomore Blayke Bingham singled. Gilbert struck out sophomore Pressley Harris for the second out, but a third 10th grader, Jillian McLellan, singled, freshman Shaina Johnson walked, and Kerchenski got an RBI by being hit by a pitch, scoring Bingham. Gilbert did keep it tied, though, by getting Croslin to ground out to Collins at short.
The Lady Panthers mounted a major threat in the fourth inning. Eighth grader Chloe Whitescarver led off with her second single of the game. She moved to second on a wild pitch. Gray walked with two outs, but Newman grounded into a fielder’s choice to end the inning.
Lee pitched shutout ball in five of the six full innings she pitched, and she got Newman to ground out to Harris at third to start the seventh. Only one of the three runs she allowed was earned.
Coach Trimble then called on Abby Hinton to pitch to the top two hitters in Coach Calvin Head’s batting order, Collins and Higgins. Hinton got Collins to ground out to McLellan at first and then induced Higgins to hit a grounder to Croslin at short, keeping the scored tied going into the winning half of the inning.
Gilbert took the loss, despite giving up only four runs on four hits and five walks while striking out five.
Although she only faced two batters, Hinton was the pitcher of record when the winning run scored.
Kerchenski was officially one for one at the plate with two runs scored. She also had an RBI after walking and being hit by two pitches. She also stole two bases. Nichols walked twice.
Whitescarver got two of the Lady Panthers’ give hits.