11TH REGION SOFTBALL: Catholic tops Central, 4-0, in title game

May 30—LEXINGTON — The Lady Indians (24-6) had a chance to take the lead in the top of the first inning Wednesday against one of the top pitchers in the state.

Reille Parks led-off with a single was bunted to second, then moved to third on a passed ball.

Abby Hammond, though, worked out of the jam — getting a strikeout and a groundout.

"We had an opportunity," Madison Central coach Randy Hall said. "We just couldn't get a run. Maybe that would have sparked us."

The Lady Indians didn't get many more opportunities.

Hammond allowed just four hits as Lexington Catholic (26-2) reclaimed the 11th Region Tournament title with a 4-0 win over Central on Wednesday in the championship game at Lafayette High School. Lydia Kennedy hit a two-run homer in the third inning, while Hammond was intentionally walked four times and scored twice.

Parks was 2-for-3. Mollie Neeley and Lina Guerra (double) had the other hits for Central.

Senior Cassidy Gentry went the distance in the circle for the Lady Indians. She allowed just five hits, three earned runs and walked five, while striking out four.

Hammond did not walk a batter and had 10 strikeouts.

"She's a good pitcher and a great hitter too," Hall said of Hammond. "That's why we didn't pitch to her. Other teams had (had been intentionally walking her) too. So, we thought it was the best strategy She's hitting almost .600 on the season."

Hammond walked to lead-off the bottom of the first and scored on a groundout by Kennedy. The pitcher was walked again in the third, and two batters later Kennedy homered to center.

Catholic added a run in the sixth after a pair of Central errors.

The Lady Knights move on to the KHSAA State Tournament for the second time in the past three seasons and will face Montgomery County on June 7 at the University of Kentucky.

The Lady Indians moved back into the 11th Region Tournament championship game for the first time in 12 years with wins over Western Hills, 1-0, and Lafayette, 5-1, and were looking for their first championship in 22 years.

The Lady Indians have been handed season-ending losses by Catholic and Hammond in each of the past three years (5-0 in 2023, 5-1 in 2022).

"There's only team in the end that will end up winning their last game," Hall said. "We were just one win away from (state), which was the team's goal. But, hopefully, they will look back and see that we had a good season."