By MICHAEL CHILDERS, CJ Correspondent
During last night’s 48th District Softball Championship game, Southwestern had a sign on their dugout wall that read “The third time’s the charm.”
That statement held true for Jim Woodall and the Lady Warriors, as the they defeated McCreary Central when it mattered most, which was in last night’s title game at Wayne County High School.
After falling to the Lady Raiders of McCreary Central twice in their pair of regular season match-ups, Southwestern, with a 12-7 victory last night, tallied their eighth district championship in a row.
Southwestern fell to the Lady Raiders by scores of 4-3 and 1-0 during the regular season, but Woodall felt those pair of setbacks would out his squad in the long run. After last night’s five-run win over McCreary Central, Woodall was indeed correct.
“We learned a lot from those two regular season losses to McCreary,” began Woodall. “The girls worked hard on some things that we were struggling with, and it paid off tonight. We weren’t our sharpest tonight, but it’s a win. Since our 2006 district championship, we’ve now won eight in a row - eight is great.”
Southwestern came out on fire in the game, jumping out to a 10-0 lead over the Lady Raiders. The Lady Warriors scored two runs in the first inning, five in the second inning, and three in the third inning.
The Lady Raiders plated four runs in the bottom of the fourth inning to cut the Southwestern lead to six runs at 10-4. McCreary Central’s comeback was paced by a three-run double from Keisha Gibson.
Both teams plated a run on errors in the sixth inning. Junior Sydney ‘Dozer’ Fourman scored the Lady Warriors’ run on an error, while McCreary Central got their run on an overthrow. After six innings in the books, the Lady Warriors led McCreary Central, 11-5.
Southwestern got one run in the top of the seventh frame when sophomore Angel Beasley scored on a single from eighth-grader Shantelle Woodall to make the score, 12-5. McCreary Central tallied two runs in the bottom half of the frame, but it wouldn’t be enough, as the Lady Warriors won by a final tally of 12-7.
The Lady Warriors, who scored 12 runs on 11 hits, was led at the plate by Fourman’s three hits. Fourman had a game-highs in two categories - doubles (2) and RBI’s (3).
Beasley, who had a double in the game, along with junior Allie Venable chimed in with two hits apiece for the Lady Warriors. Woodall, Megan Burchett (triple), Gillian Gibson, and Sarah Smith all had a hit in the district title game.
Fourman, who pitched all seven innings for Southwestern, earned the victory. The Southwestern junior gave up eight runs on seven hits, but did have six strikeouts.
Fourman, Smith, Beasley, Venable, Destiny Molden, and Hope Bruner all were named to the 48th District All-Tournament team.
Since the 12th Region realignment in the 2005-2006 school year, Southwestern has dominated the 48th District, having won titles in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and now 2013.
It may have Southwestern’s eighth straight district title in eight seasons, but Woodall and the Lady Warriors will quickly get back to business this week to prepare for the 12th Region Softball Tournament.
“We are going to enjoy this win tonight, but it’s going to be a short-lived celebration,” said Woodall. “I’m going to give them the day off Friday, but we are going to get back to work on Saturday and Sunday. We are really glad that we won the district once again, but we’ve got other things that we want to accomplish. This is the best overall team that I’ve ever coached and they work hard each and every day.”
Southwestern, who moved to 25-8 on the year with the victory over the Lady Raiders, will back in action on Monday in the regional tournament at Rockcastle County High School.
Look for brackets and information for next week’s regional tournament in an upcoming edition of the Commonwealth Journal.
SW - 2 5 3 0 0 1 1 - 12 11 2
MC - 0 0 0 4 0 1 2 - 7 8 5
W - Fourman (SW)
L - Cotton (MC)
2B - Terry, Gibson (MC); Fourman 2, Smith, Bruner (SW)
3B - Burchett (SW)
RBI - Gibson 3, King, Maxwell (MC); Fourman 3, Smith 2, Woodall, Burchett (SW)