• Rick Capone, Sports Editor

Lady Jackets win third straight district title

The Woodford County High School softball team looked impressive in the 41st District Tournament, which was played at Lakeside Park in Frankfort, and hosted by Franklin County. After defeating Frankfort 15-0 in a three-inning, mercy-rule game on Tuesday, May 23, the Lady Jackets had to wait until Friday because of bad weather to play Franklin County in the district championship game. There, behind the pitching of senior Bethany Todd, a strong defense and some timely hitting, the Lady Jackets defeated the Lady Flyers, 4-1, to capture their third-straight 41st District title. “It feels great. The girls worked hard. They earned this win,” said Woodford first-year head coach Les Anderson. “It was a hard-fought win over Franklin County. I thought they (Franklin County) came out and had a good game plan against us. The (Woodford) kids battled all game. We hit the ball pretty well actually, for the slow pitching that we’ve been facing lately. Fantastic defense. I mean, really, at any level, if you cannot give your opponents bases, you have a great opportunity to win. We didn’t give up any bases; no free bases this week. So, if you play clean defense, and you’re good in the circle, you’re going to win a lot of games.” In the championship game against Franklin County, Todd got the start and did not allow the Lady Flyers to score in the first two innings. However, Franklin County also held Woodford scoreless in the first two innings. In the top of the third, Franklin County got a runner on base, but Todd shut them down with a third-out strikeout. Then the Lady Jackets scored a run in the bottom of the third to take the lead in the game. It came with two outs and senior Ariel Dailey on second base and freshman Abby Moffett at the plate. Moffett hit a single to center field, which scored Dailey for the 1-0 Woodford lead. Neither team scored in the fourth inning, but after Woodford got Franklin County out in the top of the fifth, the Lady Jackets scored two more runs. The first came on a solo home run over the right-field fence by Delaney Enlow to make it 2-0. “Delaney Enlow is a player the entire state is going to have to keep their eyes (on her),” said Anderson. “If you count varsity and JV, she’s sitting at 16 home runs for the season. The kid is strong, she’s smart, she attacks the ball, and by the time she graduates, she’ll be the best power hitter in the state of Kentucky. … (She had a) nice, easy, beautiful swing. She’s just absolutely as strong as an ox. And, she is a student of the game and it’s fun to see her excel on the big stage.” With Dailey on third and junior Peyton Rose on second, Moffett hit a ball into short left field that fell in front of Franklin County’s left fielder. The hit scored Dailey and Rose to give Woodford a 4-0 lead in the game. Franklin County was unable to score in the sixth inning, but they were able to get one run across the plate in the top of the seventh to make it 4-1. Then, with another runner on base, Todd threw another third-out strikeout to end the game and give Woodford the win and the district title. Todd pitched all seven innings in the game and had 11 strikeouts while giving up one run on three hits and one walk. “Bethany is the best pitcher in the state,” said Anderson. “She has been for the last two years. She’s dominated the best opponents in the country. If you think about it, we’ve played No. 1- or No. 2-ranked teams in Kentucky, Ohio and Alabama (this year). And, actually, out of the 34 games we’ve played, 20 of them have been against top-20 opponents and Bethany has thrown 17 of those. She has a batting average against of .108, and an earned run average of .668. And, that’s against the top competition in, basically, the southeast. “She can pitch with anybody. When she’s on, she can keep us in a game. Offensively, we just have to find ways to get runs across the plate, and defensively, we’ve got to play clean behind her. If we do that, we’ve got a great shot.” Region update The Lady Jackets opened play in the 11th Region tournament, which was being played at Lakeside Park in Frankfort and hosted by Franklin County. In Woodford’s opening game against Tates Creek on Monday, May 29, the pitching tandem of senior Caitlin Karo and Todd shut down the Lady Commodores as the Lady Jackets scored a 12-0, five-inning, mercy-rule win. The game was highlighted by a grand slam home run by freshman Kelsey Coleman in the bottom of the first inning, which gave Woodford an early 4-0 lead. Franklin County was unable to respond, while the Lady Jackets continued to score to take a 12-0 lead into the top of the fifth inning. Then, Todd, who had relieved Karo in the fourth inning, put the Lady Commodores down in order with three strikeouts to give Woodford the 12-0 mercy-rule win. Karo got the start in the circle and pitched three innings and had five strikeouts, while Todd pitched two innings and also had five strikeouts while giving up three runs. On Tuesday, May 30, Woodford faced Madison Central in the semifinals of the region at Franklin County. With Todd and Karo splitting pitching duties, the Lady Jackets defeated the Lady Indians 11-1 in a six inning, mercy-rule, victory. The game was highlighted by a three-run home by Karo in the second inning, which gave the Lady Jackets a 4-0 lead in the game. With the win, Woodford advanced to the 11th Region championship game against Scott County, which was played Wednesday. Results were not available at press time but will appear in next week’s Woodford Sun.

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