The Warren East softball team made quick work of Cumberland County with a 13-0, five-inning win in the opening round of the Region 4 Tournament on Saturday at the WKU Softball Complex.
Warren East (24-13-1) pounded out 12 hits and Emma Markham struck out 15 of 16 batters faced as the Lady Raiders rolled into the semifinals.
“We were just excited from the beginning,” Warren East freshman outfielder Madison Hymer said. “We put that excitement on the field and it was good.”
The Lady Raiders got it going in the first inning. Senior Lucy Patterson, who hit eighth the last time the two teams met in the 2017 tournament, led off with a single. Patterson stole second and eventually scored on a sacrifice fly by Maude Forrester.
“I know a lot of us were nervous,” Patterson said. “I knew I needed to set the tone and get back to the usual me. It was nice I was able to set the tone and everybody else followed behind me.”
Warren East broke it open with six runs in the second – taking advantage of a two-out error by Cumberland County (18-12). The error led to five unearned runs, including an RBI single by Forrester and a two-run double by Emma Young.
Patterson gave Warren East a 10-0 lead with a three-run triple in the third, scoring on an RBI single by Haylie Brasel. The Lady Raiders capped the scoring with two runs in the fifth, including an RBI single by Brasel.
“It was nice to see the young faces get out there and get going,” Warren East coach Philip McKinney said. “I didn’t say much to them – just to go out and play softball. That second inning, putting up six runs, really helped.”
Patterson and Hymer finished with three hits each.
Markham tossed a complete game one-hitter with 15 strikeouts. The only ball put in play was an infield hit by Mollie Vincent. Markham threw 67 pitches, 51 for strikes.
“She spun the ball well and hit some locations,” McKinney said. “She did a good job.”
Warren East will face Barren County, an 11-1 winner over Russellville on Saturday, at 2 p.m. Sunday at the WKU Softball Complex. The Lady Raiders won 2-0 when the two teams met in the regular season.
“We are gonna have to step it up at the plate and all the way through the lineup tomorrow,” McKinney said.
WEHS 164 02 – 13 12 0
CCHS 000 00 – 0 1 3
WP: Markham LP: Branham
Barren County 11, Russellville 1
The Trojanettes scored 11 unanswered runs, beating the Lady Panthers for the third time this season.
“Any time you get to the region tournament, all bets are off,” Barren County coach Daryl Murphy said. “You just want to score runs and advance. It wasn’t our best game, but I am sure there was a little nervousness. We are just excited to get the win and keep advancing.”
Russellville (21-17) struck first with an RBI single by Jaylah Kees, but Barren County (26-7) surged ahead in the second – scoring three runs without recording a hit.
The Trojanettes added two more runs in the third and pushed the margin to 6-1 on an RBI single by Lara Simmons in the fourth. Two innings later, Barren County scored five times to clinch the win. The rally included a two-run single from Simmons and RBI hits from Cora Bogue and Allie Anderson.
“I was a little nervous after the first run, but you just have to trust your team,” Simmons said. “We’ve been hitting all year, so we’ve just got to trust what we are doing.”
Lilie Broady earned the win, allowing one run and three hits with two strikeouts and two walks.
“She’s pitched in a lot of big games for us and tonight was no exception,” Murphy said. “I thought she settled in. I thought she located really well and the defense played well behind her.”
Simmons led Barren County with three hits. Kees had two hits for Russellville.
RHS 100 000 – 1 3 3
BCHS 032 105 – 11 9 1
WP: Broady LP: Collier