NICHOLASVILLE - The Southwestern High School Lady Warriors (22-10) battled back from 3-0 and 5-3 deficits to take a 6-5 lead over West Jessamine (11-16) into the sixth inning Sunday in the opening round of the 12th Region Softball Tournament.
But just when it looked like Southwestern had finally taken control, the wheels fell off for the Lady Warriors.
The Lady Colts took advantage of three Lady Warriors errors in the top of the sixth to score three runs to go up 8-6 and then added two more in the seventh to post a 10-6 win to end Southwestern's season.
"That's the way it's been all season, one bad inning does us in," Southwestern coach Jarrod Sumner said. "They scored 10 runs and at least four or five of them were unearned. Kaitlyn (Gwin) didn't pitch a bad game, we just didn't do a good job behind her at times."
West grabbed a 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning on three hits and a Southwestern error.
The Lady Warriors quickly answered with three runs of their own in the bottom of the inning to tie it at 3-3.
Olivia Wilds reached on a West error and Callie Burton drew a walk before Gwin blasted the first pitch she saw over the left field fence for a 3-run homer to tie it at 3-3.
It remained that way until the third when the Lady Colts used the long ball to regain the lead.
Starting pitcher Brooke Childers lined a lead-off solo home run to center field to put West up 3-2.
After Gwin struck out the next two batters, consecutive singles by Jessica Lewis, Ally Barnhart and Tori Giurevich plated another run to put the Lady Colts back up 5-3.
But just as they did in the first, the Lady Warriors answered in their half of the inning.
Ashtyn Hines lined a single to left to open the inning and quickly stole second.
Wilds followed with a walk and a wild pitch moved runners into to scoring position at second and third.
Callie Burton then brought Hines home with a sacrifice fly to center field to cut the deficit to 5-4.
A two out single to center by Gwin brought Wilds home to once again tie it at 5-5.
Southwestern took its first lead of the game in the bottom of the fourth inning with a big two-out rally.
Jesse Begley reached on an error and Hines moved her to third with a single to right.
Hines stole second on the next pitch and on a heads-u[p play, Begley raced home to score on the throw down to second base to put Southwestern on top 6-5.
Unfortunately for Southwestern, the momentum was short lived as the Lady Colts closed out the game with the final five runs to pick up the win.
Despite the loss, Sumner said he was proud of the way his team continued to battle back.
"It's disappointing, but I'm really proud of the fight the girls showed today. They didn't hang their heads when we got down early and continued to battle to take the lead," he said. "We only lose one senior, Callie Burton, who's had a great year for us. So we'll be back next year with the lineup almost intact and ready to do it again."
Offensively, Gwin lead the way with a home run, single and four RBI.
Hines added a pair of singles and two steals, Wilds had two singles, two walks and a steal and Ulrich had a single.
Gwin went the distance in the circle for the Lady Warriors, giving up 10 runs - six earned - on 12 hits, while striking out four batters and walking none.