Frederick Douglass spoils a milestone moment for Bryan Station softball in 42nd District

With a 6-3 senior night softball win against Bryan Station at The Farm on Thursday, Frederick Douglass spoiled the Defenders’ milestone moment of securing the program’s first top seed in the upcoming 42nd District Tournament.

And while the Broncos are locked into third place regardless of the outcome of their game against Henry Clay on Monday, their regular-season sweep of Bryan Station signals Douglass won’t be backing down from anyone.

Freshman Haley McGuire (7-6) pitched a complete game and made a difference at the plate as well with a three-run double to left-center in the fourth inning to spot the Broncos a 5-1 lead.

“I knew she was going to throw it inside, so I was just ready to swing,” McGuire said. “And I knew the first pitch she threw was going to be a strike, so I just hoped for the best.”

McGuire had given up pitching last season when she was in Henry Clay’s lineup, but returned to the circle this year to help the Broncos. She also has four saves and splits time mainly with seventh-grader Savannah Wombles (4-2). But she’s gotten the start and gone the distance in each win against Bryan Station.

Frederick Douglass’ Jarynn Bowman (00) celebrates scoring with teammate Haley McGuire during Thursday’s game against visiting Bryan Station.
Frederick Douglass’ Jarynn Bowman (00) celebrates scoring with teammate Haley McGuire during Thursday’s game against visiting Bryan Station.

“I think the team motivates me,” McGuire said. “And we hit the ball, it motivates me more and more. I want to pitch good.”

Like they did in their 3-2 win at Bryan Station on April 26, the Broncos got runners on base, piled on pressure and capitalized on Defenders’ miscues. Bryan Station committed four errors Thursday. It had three on April 26.

And on offense, Bryan Station ran itself out of scoring threats, notably squandering a two-on, one-out chance in the second inning by getting both runners caught in rundowns on the same play. Adrienn Acure and Michelle Moore each scored in the fifth. Karsyn Rockvoan (11-7) struck out nine in the loss.

“I don’t understand what happens — why we play so bad against this team,” Bryan Station coach Hector Urbaneja said. “I’m disappointed to see them play like this. … It hurts to see.”

Douglass’ first run crossed in the second inning after Jarynn Bowman reached on a dropped third strike. She stole second and third to set up the score on a passed ball moments later. Bryan Station returned the favor the next inning as Tiahna Bowman scored on a wild pitch. Bowman reached by getting hit at the plate.

In the fourth inning an error allowed Douglass’ Jarynn Bowman on base again. A steal and a sacrifice bunt got her to third. Another bunt by Happy Armani led to a rundown and a throwing error that let Bowman score. Then, Riley Baker singled and Kadynce Sanders walked to load the bases for McGuire’s big hit. In the fifth, Kyleigh Curtis tripled and later scored on a Baker groundout.

“The biggest key for us was we bunted the ball when we were supposed to, we moved runners over when we were supposed to and we had timely hits,” Douglass coach Jason McGuire said. “That double that Haley had … man, what a great win.”

If Douglass defeats Henry Clay on Monday, Bryan Station, Scott County and the Broncos would all be 4-2 in district play. Since Bryan Station swept Scott County, Scott County swept Douglass and Douglass swept Bryan Station, district tournament seeding will be settled by how many runs each team allowed in district play.

Bryan Station allowed the fewest with 11 runs against. That means the Defenders will be the No. 1 seed in the district for the first time since Scott County joined the 42nd in 2006. Still, the Douglass loss stung.

“We’ve got about six games until district play. They just need to show some heart, bring some fire,” Urbaneja said.

The Cardinals (14-8) have never lost a 42nd District Tournament in 17 appearances. The young Broncos, who honored their two seniors, Jorden Bowman and Aaliyah Long on Thursday, know they face a huge challenge in the district semifinals when they face Scott County again. The Cards defeated Douglass 11-4 on March 22 and 12-2 on April 25.

“Ever since Scott County has come into the district, they’ve owned us. We really, really want to turn the table this time,” Coach McGuire said.

42nd District standings

1. Bryan Station, 14-9, 4-2*

2. Scott County, 14-8, 4-2*

3. Frederick Douglass, 14-12, 3-2*

4. Henry Clay, 3-22, 0-5

*Tiebreaker is the fewest runs allowed in district play. 11—Bryan Station, 16—Scott County, 30—Douglass.

The 42nd District Tournament will be at Bryan Station beginning May 20. Schedule TBA.