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Lady Maroons topple Somerset in district tournament

May 21—The crosstown rivalry between Pulaski and Somerset had one more meeting on tap in the 2024 season, as the two foes faced off in the 47th District semifinals on Monday. Although the Maroons easily won the two previous two meetings using a strong offense, neither offense could score much this time around. However, it was still all Pulaski at the end of the night, as the Maroons defeated the Lady Jumpers 4-1 to advance to the district finals.

Brooklyn Thomas started on the mound for the hosting team in the Maroons and immediately threw her first strikeout. An Emry Pyles double gave the Jumpers a base runner soon after, with Jazlynn Shadoan reaching safely after being hit by a pitch. Both runners were soon stranded though, as Thomas struck out the next two batters.

After a ground out to start the bottom of the first, Bella Ellis was able to reach on an error. A Ryann Sowder single gave Pulaski two base runners with just one away. A walk on Shelbie Sellers loaded up the bases for the Maroons with just one out to work with. An error by the Jumpers proved to be their undoing as an infield fly was dropped to allow Novaleigh Baker to reach safely, scoring two runs in the process and giving Pulaski a 2-0 advantage after the first inning.

Thomas continued her strong work on the mound in the second, striking out two of the the three batters. Maggie Gregory was able to draw a walk in the bottom of the second, although two straight fielder's choices put Thomas on first and brought Pulaski down to their final out of the frame again. Ellis didn't want to leave a runner stranded though and hammered the ball to center, earning a two-run home run to double the Maroons' lead to 4-0. Sowder was able to reach on another error but a line out soon retired the side.

Makenna Baker singled to center to begin the third before a Thomas strikeout sat the next batter down. Pyles was hit by a pitch before Shadoan hit a single as well to load the bases up with just one out. Thomas got out of the jam with two straight strikeouts to again prevent a Jumper run from coming home. Baker was the lone Maroon to make it to base in the bottom of the inning, reaching safely on a five-pitch walk.

Addy White was able to reach on a walk in the top of the fourth, although Thomas soon locked in once again and struck out two of the next three batters to retire the side, again without a score. Gregory singled to begin the bottom of the fourth, with Avery Davis being hit by a pitch to give Pulaski two base runners with no one out so far. An intentional walk on Ellis loaded up the bases, but proved to be the right call as the Jumpers were able to sit the next two batters down in order to avoid any more damage.

Pyles was hit by another pitch with one gone in the top of the fifth, with another Shadoan single giving the Lady Jumpers two base runners with another chance to score. They didn't waste this one either, as a hit by Mollie Lucas was far enough to bring the runner home, giving Somerset their first run of the ball game. A Thomas strikeout brought Somerset's offense to a close, although they cut a bit into the Pulaski lead there. Rilee Ross was the lone Maroon to make it to base in the bottom of the fifth on a single to center.

Thomas was fully locked in during the visitor's half of the sixth, striking out all three batters on 13 pitches total to retire the side. Thomas was able to hit a single to center field in the bottom of the inning, although neither team was getting much offense at this point in the evening.

Baker singled in the top of the seventh in the last chance for Somerset to make a comeback before another strikeout from Thomas. Pyles singled to left field to put two on board for the Jumpers, with the game-tying run coming to the plate. Unfortunately for Somerset, the comeback wasn't meant to be, as Thomas struck out one more batter before the final player up to bat grounded out, handing Pulaski a 4-1 win and eliminating Somerset from the district tournament.

Ellis had two RBI's and a home run for the Lady Maroons, with Thomas, Sowder, Ross and Gregory also earning hits. Thomas had another brilliant showing on the mound, pitching the full seven innings while allowing one run on six hits with one walk and 16 strikeouts.

Pulaski improves to 27-6 and will take on Casey County for the 47th District title on Tuesday.

Lucas had the lone RBI for the Jumpers, with Pyles, Shadoan and Baker each adding two hits apiece. Addy White had the loss on the mound, going six innings while allowing four runs on five hits with four walks.

Somerset finishes the season with a record of 11-21. Best of luck to seniors Kennadi Asher, Emme Goforth, Mollie Lucas, Grace Prichard and Jazlynn Shadoan on all of their future endeavors.

Jacob Pratt is the Sports Editor of the Commonwealth Journal and can be reached at jpratt@somerset-kentucky.com.