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Lady Hornets upend Catholic in regional first round

HARTFORD — Hancock County jumped out to an early lead, and the Lady Hornets’ defense kept Owensboro Catholic at bay to capture a 5-0 win in the first round of the 3rd Region Softball Tournament on Tuesday night at Ohio County High School.

Hancock County (28-9) moves on to face host Ohio County (15-15) in Thursday’s semifinals at 5:30 p.m.

The Lady Hornets scored four runs in the bottom of the opening frame after loading the bases with one out. Audrey Carnes clubbed a double to right field, Ella House drew a walk, and pitcher Lily Roberts singled on a fly ball before Layni Roberts was hit by a pitch. Ava Riggs drove in a run with a line drive to left, courtesy runner Aubree Mosby scored on an error, and Layni Roberts plated a run from third base on a fielder’s choice — giving Hancock County a 4-0 lead.

The Lady Hornets had an opportunity to extend their advantage with a runner on third base with two outs in the bottom of the fourth inning, but Catholic left fielder Maren Riney’s throw led to a run-down on the base paths with Hancock’s Kylie Westerfield, who was tagged out by catcher Maci Merritt on a sliding attempt at home plate.

Riney led off the top of the sixth frame with a walk for the Lady Aces (17-15), and two batters later, Tyranda Stuart drilled a high fly ball to right-center field that left Hancock County’s outfielders scrambling. However, House’s relay throw from second base allowed catcher Layni Roberts to tag Riney out at home and preserve the Lady Hornets’ lead.

Eighth-grader Jordyn Waltrip smashed a two-out solo home run to left-center field in the bottom of the sixth to cap off Hancock County’s scoring.

Carnes and Madyson Higdon each had two hits for the Lady Hornets, and Lily Roberts earned the pitching win with five strikeouts, three hits and three walks in the complete-game shutout.

OWENSBORO CATHOLIC 000 000 0 — 0 3 1

HANCOCK COUNTY 400 001 x — 5 8 0

WP-Roberts. LP-Robbins. 2B-Carnes (HC), Stuart (OC). HR-Waltrip (HC).

OHIO COUNTY 11, EDMONSON COUNTY 4

Talynn Clark went 3-for-5 with three runs scored and an RBI, and Madyson Crowe recorded a trio of RBIs as the Lady Eagles punched their ticket to the regional tournament semifinals.

Ohio County (15-15) will advance to face Hancock County (28-9) at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday.

Clark led off the game with a double to left field and scored two batters later on Crowe’s RBI base hit to give her team an early advantage.

The Lady Eagles’ offense produced four runs in the top of the second frame, sparked by an RBI single by pitcher Addyson Graves. A bases-loaded error later in the inning allowed Ohio County to plate two more runs, followed by Crowe’s sacrifice fly that pushed the lead to 5-0.

Ohio County took a commanding lead with six runs in the fourth inning. Clark clubbed an RBI double to center field, Crowe hit a sacrifice fly to score Clark, Haley Patton belted an RBI single to left, and Addy Decker added an RBI grounder to center. Pinch runner Laycee Lee scored on a passed ball to give the Lady Eagles an 11-0 edge.

Edmonson County (15-14) loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the fourth, leading to a trio of scores — but Ohio County forced consecutive outs to keep its lead at 11-3.

The Lady Cats struck for another run on an error in the bottom of the seventh but couldn’t get any closer from there.

Decker finished with two hits and two RBIs for Ohio County, Patton added two hits with two runs, and Graves tallied a pair of hits.

OHIO COUNTY140 600 0 — 11 12 1

EDMONSON COUNTY000 300 1 — 4 7 3

WP-Graves. LP-Norris. 2B-Clark 2 (OH), Simmons (EC).