• Rick Capone, Sports Editor

WCHS softball, baseball open district tourney play - 5-25-2017

The Woodford County High School baseball and softball teams opened their 41st District tournaments on Tuesday, May 23, with different results, as weather made an impact. In the softball tournament opener at Franklin County, the Lady Jackets dominated play, and behind senior Caitlin Karo’s no-hit shutout, and home runs by freshman Kelsey Coleman and Karo, defeated Frankfort 15-0 in a three-inning, mercy rule game. With the win, Woodford advanced to the district tournament championship game, where the Lady Jackets faced the winner of the Franklin County-Western Hills game. The game was scheduled for Wednesday, weather permitting. In addition, with the win, Woodford advanced to the 11th Region tournament, which will be played at Franklin County Monday through Wednesday, May 29 through 31. In the baseball tournament opener at home on Chandler Field, behind an impressive performance by senior Parker Thomas, some strong defensive play and an explosive offense, the Bat Jackets took an early 6-0 lead before the game was called in the third inning due to lightning. The game was scheduled to resume on Wednesday, weather permitting. If Woodford wins, the team will advance to the district tournament championship game and play the winner of the Franklin County-Western Hills game. In addition, the Bat Jackets will advance to the 11th Region tournament, which will be played at Madison Southern, Monday through Wednesday, May 29 through 31. Here’s a recap of both team’s final regular season games and district opener. Softball The Lady Jackets closed out their regular season a 7-3 win over Anderson County on Thursday, May 18, and then two wins on the road on Saturday, May 20, an exciting 11-9 win over Daviess County, and a 5-1 win over South Warren. The win over Daviess County went into extra innings. To get into the eighth inning, Woodford pulled off a “little magic.” Down 9-5 with two outs against them in the top of the seventh inning, and senior Ariel Dailey on third base and sophomore Leea Cole on first, freshman Kasey Abel hit a single, which scored Dailey to make it a 9-6 ball game. Then, with Cole on third base and Abel at first, freshman Abby Moffett blasted a three-run home run over the left-field fence to tie the game, 9-9. Daviess County was unable to score in the bottom of the seventh and the game went into extra innings. In the top of the eighth, Woodford took the lead when, with senior Kyla Simpson on third and Coleman on second, junior Peyton Rose hit a double into left field, which scored Simpson and Coleman to give the Lady Jackets an 11-9 lead, which ended up being the final score. In the game, Karo pitched 5-1/3rd innings and had eight strikeouts, while giving up eight runs on 11 hits. Senior Bethany Todd pitched 2-2/3rd-innings and had six strikeouts while giving up one run and two walks. In their district opening game against Frankfort, Woodford came out and took control early. With Karo in the circle and the defense focused, Frankfort was unable to manage any offense. Meanwhile, Woodford scored two runs in the first inning, nine more in the second and four more in the third to score the 15-0, three-inning, mercy rule win. Karo finished the three-inning game with nine strikeouts and no hits, while also helping her cause with a home run. Coleman also hit a home run in the game. Baseball The Bat Jackets closed out their regular season with two games. The first was a 12-3 five-inning, mercy rule win over Henry Clay on senior night, Wednesday, May17, and the second was a 5-1 win at Anderson County on Saturday, May 20. With those wins, the Bat Jackets closed out their regular season 22-10 overall, 13-4 in region play and 5-1 in district play. Prior to the game against Henry Clay, Woodford honored its six seniors – Logan Couch, Seth Denton, Harrison Keith, Alec Neff, Jack Ockerman and Parker Thomas – in a short ceremony that featured family, teammates and all their friends in the stands. Then, on a beautiful night for baseball, the team got down to business. Couch got the start and pitched 1/3rd of the first inning, and then Ockerman relieved him and pitched the rest of the game. Henry Clay took an early 1-0 lead, but then the Woodford bats caught fire and they scored four in the first inning, and five more in the second inning to take a 9-1 lead. The Blue Devils scored one more run in the fifth inning to make it 9-2, but the Bat Jackets scored three runs in the bottom of the fifth to make it 12-2 and end game with a mercy-rule win. Ockerman pitched five innings and had four strikeouts, while giving up one run on four hits and one walk. In Woodford’s district opener, Thomas got the start and, while the Flyers scored a run, Thomas took control and pitched solidly in the first three innings. When lightning ended the game, he had five strikeouts in the contest. Woodford’s offense had also caught fire early as they scored two runs in the first inning, three in the second and two in the third to take a 6-1 lead before the game was called. Final results of both the baseball and softball district tournaments will be in next week’s Woodford Sun.

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