MONTICELLO – When Southwestern softball head coach Jarrod Sumner boarded the bus to head to Wayne County yesterday afternoon, he knew that his Lady Warrior softball team was ready to roll.
The Lady Warriors did roll, taking down McCreary Central in five innings, 17-2, in the championship game of the 48th District Softball Tournament in Monticello. With the 15-run win over the Lady Raiders of McCreary Central, Southwestern tallied their 12th district championship banner in 13 seasons.
“When we got on the bus today, I knew that we were in good shape,” began Sumner. “You can usually tell how things are going to go when they get on the bus, and they didn’t let up tonight. They came out hitting from the get-go, and it continued all-game long. After that big first inning, I thought we would let up a little bit, but they didn’t.”
To get things rolling, Southwestern jumped out to a 6-0 advantage in the top of the first inning. Callie Burton’s two-run single scored the pair of Gretchen Hines (walk) and Olivia Wilds (single). Burton and Madison Gaskin (single) would each score on a two-run double to the fence from Kaitlyn Gwin. Before the inning was complete, Gwin and Emory Wilds would score to make it 6-0.
After the Lady Raiders tallied a lone run in the bottom half of the first inning, Southwestern tacked on four more runs in the second frame to run out to a 10-1 advantage. The Lady Warriors took advantage of one error and three walks from McCreary Central to reach double digits on the scoreboard.
In the third frame, Southwestern plated a pair of runs to grab a 12-1 lead over the Lady Raiders. Once again, the Lady Warriors took advantage of a pair of errors committed by McCreary Central. The Lady Raiders, in the bottom of the inning, hit a home run to cut the Southwestern lead to ten runs at 12-2.
Over the next two innings, the Lady Warriors scored five more runs to move their lead out to a 15-run margin at 17-2. Southwestern kept the Lady Raiders from scoring in the fourth and fifth innings to end the game early due to ten-run mercy rule.
Eight of the nine Lady Warrior batters had at least one hit on an evening where they totaled 15 hits. Out of those eight batters, seven of them recorded at least one RBI in the victory.
Burton and Emory Wilds led the way for Southwestern with three hits apiece, while Gaskin, Gwin, and Lillie Turpin accumulated two hits each. Gwin and Burton led the Lady Warriors with a game-high three RBI’s.
On the mound for the Lady Warriors was Gwin, who gave up two runs on five hits in five innings of work. The Southwestern pitcher also struck out six Lady Raider batters in the win.
To say that Southwestern dominated the 48th District Softball Tournament would be an understatement. In their two district games, the Lady Warriors outscored their opponents, 32-2. Southwestern beat Wayne County, 15-0, on Monday before taking down McCreary Central last night, 17-2.
Southwestern, who reached the 20-win mark on the season with the district title game victory, will now go into next week’s 12th Region Softball Tournament as a district champion. Heading into the regional tourney, the Lady Warriors’ overall record stands at 20-9.
The Lady Warrior softball coach credits his senior class for leading the team to their second straight district title and their 12th in 13 years.
“It doesn’t matter who you draw, you’re going to draw somebody that can play,” Sumner stated. “If we come out and play the way we did tonight, we can play with anybody. A lot of our performance this season has to do with our senior class – they’ve worked their tails off. Our seniors are like having another coach – I can always expect them to do their best at whatever they do.”
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