State softball: Warren East 8-1 over Ashland Blazer

Warren East’s Kya Elkin (left) and Kelsey Sparks celebrate Friday during the Lady Raiders’ 8-1 win over Ashland Blazer in the KHSAA Fast Pitch State Softball Tournament at John Cropp Stadium at the University of Kentucky in Lexington.

LEXINGTON – The Warren East softball team suffered two setbacks this season – Central Hardin the final week of the regular season and South Warren in the District 14 Tournament championship.

Warren East got a measure of revenge against South Warren, beating the Spartans in the Region 4 title game. Now, the Lady Raiders get another chance at Central Hardin in the KHSAA State Fast Pitch Softball Tournament semifinals at 1:45 p.m. CDT at John Cropp Stadium on the campus of the University of Kentucky.

It will be a matchup of two of the top four ranked teams in the state. The Lady Raiders were ranked No. 2 for the entire season, while the Lady Bruins were ranked No. 4 in the final coaches’ poll.

“They are good,” McKinney said. “They are good every year. They are just an hour up the road from Bowling Green. A lot of our kids have played their kids in travel ball. We are down to the final four. We will tee it up and see what happens.”

In the previous meeting May 13, Central Hardin won 5-4 in nine innings. The Lady Bruins, who have won 12 straight, got a home run from Angel Ashlock and two RBIs from Emma Case in that win.

Kaci Goedde, who threw a perfect game in Friday’s win over Pendleton County, earned the win against the Lady Raiders last month. Goedde allowed three earned runs and seven hits with eight strikeouts.

Warren East pitcher Katie Gardner allowed five runs, suffering her only loss of the season. Gardner and Jeyda Bays also homered in the loss.

This will be the second straight season the two teams will meet at the state tournament. Last season Central Hardin jumped out to a 2-0 lead before Warren East scored seven straight – including home runs from Bays and Olivia Price – to win 7-2.

“We are super excited,” Warren East third baseman Shelby Trent said. “I got injured the last time we played them, so I am super excited to be out there again. We are going to come out strong because we know they are going to come out strong, too.”

Lucy Patterson said the Lady Raiders are eager to get another shot at a team they are very familiar with.

“It’s very nice because we know we can beat them,” Patterson said. “We just had a couple of mistakes that game. Our defense has to be lockdown and the offense has to keep the bats hot to take the ‘W’ in that game.”{&end}

– Follow prep sports reporter Micheal Compton on Twitter @mcompton428 or visit bgdailynews.com.

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Sports Writer. Cover prep sports, Hot Rods baseball, Titans football, and is the Daily News staff film critic.

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