The South Warren softball team opened the Region 4 Tournament with a bang, powering its way to a 15-0, four-inning victory on Saturday at the WKU Softball Complex.
The No. 1 ranked team in the state pounded out 11 hits, including a pair of homers, to roll past Clinton County (17-14) and advance to the region semifinals.
“We told the girls we are kind of in that second phase now,” South Warren coach Kelly Reynolds said. “District is our first phase. Region is our second phase. We are literally taking it one game at a time, because you never know. At this point we know the loser goes home and we’re not ready to stop playing yet.”
It took a while for South Warren (34-1) to get the bats going, with the Spartans only scoring one run in the first before on an RBI single by McLaine Hudson before breaking out five runs in the second. The rally featured a bases-loaded walk to Caroline Pitcock and two-run singles by Carrie Enlow and Elly Bennett.
One inning later, the Spartans scored seven times with a pair of long balls.
Emily Reynolds had the first homer -- a no doubt two-run blast to the parking structure in left.
“It was a 3-2 count,” Emily Reynolds said. “I was really just looking for a base hit. The pitch was right down the middle -- kind of middle in -- so that’s like my pitch.
“I just got a brand-new bat. That’s one of my first times using it and I hit one out with it. It’s a great feeling.”
Later in the inning it was Bennett’s turn -- a two-run shot that made the score 13-0.
“I’m just looking for my pitch,” Bennett said. “With slower pitching, you’ve just got to see it. If feels great.”
South Warren emptied the bench in the fourth, but was still able to scratch across two runs -- the final scoring on a wild pitch.
Hudson, Enlow, Bennett and Emily Reynolds all finished with two hits each.
Selynna Metcalfe tossed three hitless innings with six strikeouts and a walk, while Layla Ogdon finished it off allowing a hit while striking out one in an inning.
“The nice thing tonight was all 17 girls were able to see the field at some point and time,” Kelly Reynolds said. “That was good for them to be able to experience this and have this time on the field.”
South Warren advances to face Logan County, a 4-3 winner over Allen County-Scottsville, at 4 p.m. on Sunday at the WKU Softball Complex.
CCHS 000 0 -- 0 1 4
SWHS 157 2 -- 15 11 0
WP: Metcalfe LP: Claborn
Logan County 4, Allen County-Scottsville 3
Abby Hinton tied it with a two-out, two-run single in the seventh then hit a walk-off single in the ninth to send Logan County into the semifinals.
“It was everything,” Hinton said. “I just love moments like that when the pressure is on. My team has worked really hard to get where we are.”
Logan County (19-14) got an RBI single from Hinton in the first to take a 1-0 lead that held until the sixth when Allen County-Scottsville (21-13-2) scored three times.
Jae McReynolds tied the score on an RBI double and scored on an RBI single by Jacie Rice. Two batters later, Aubrey Williams' double made the score 3-1.
The Lady Cougars battled back in the seventh to force extra innings. The first two batters were retired before Shelby Gettings singled and Emerson McKinnis doubled. That set the stage for Hinton, who lined a two-run single up the middle to tie it up and force extra innings.
“I (was) praying that they would get to me because I love the pressure like that,” Hinton said.
It remained tied until the ninth, with the first three batters reaching before Hinton hit a liner into right for the game-winning single to complete the comeback.
Hinton finished the night with four hits and four RBIs. Shayla Johnson earned the win with 3⅓ scoreless innings of relief.
“We’ve been in a tough situation three games in a row and got three teams' absolute best shot,” Logan County coach Mark Wood said. “I’m super proud of the way they fought. They never gave up.”
McReynolds, Williams and Taylor Gregory had two hits each for the Lady Patriots.
“We were one out away,” ACS coach Brad Bonds said. “It’s what good teams do is they continue to put themselves in position to win and Logan County did that and found a way to tie the game up. I felt like we continued to fight and claw.
“I don’t know what else to say other than we fought to the end with a team that was very young and inexperienced. I’m very proud of their effort and very proud of what they have accomplished all year long.”
ACSHS 000 003 000 -- 3 11 1
LCHS 100 000 201 -- 4 11 0
WP: Johnson LP: Gregory