Tuesday, May 12, 2009

All A Classic follow up

Heath with All A championship trophy.

Teams from the First Region and Second Region played a total of 11 games this weekend in the All A Classic state championship tournament. Livingston Central bowed out Saturday night with its second loss coming late that night to Beth Haven. Heath won the whole thing coming through the loser's bracket.

A few thoughts:

Livingston Central could have gotten by into Sunday with a few more hits late Saturday night. The Cardinals got just one extra-base hit from Courtney Walker against Beth Haven and had just four hits. The Cardinals are a good extra-base hitting team, and with a few more strung together, the outcome might have been different than a 5-2 loss.

By Day 2, with teams getting tired, it quickly became evident the team with the best pitcher was going to win the tournament. Heath had the best pitcher in Kelleigh Jones and took the title. While other teams were substituting their aces one she got tired, Jones kept throwing, and throwing, and throwing. She had 80 strikeouts in eight games. No, that wasn't a typo. Eighty. That's an average of 10 a game.

While we're quick to report on the highlights of the top 5 in Heath's lineup, the Pirates also won the championship thanks to the bottom of their lineup. No. 6 batter Hailee Murphy's eight hits in two days were critical to the success of the team. Allison Garrett, Nikki Glisson and Sarai Holstein all had timely hits in the bottom of the line up. And DP Katelyn Collier was able to spell Jones for a break in the circle successfully enough.

Sarai Holstein sliding into home against Henry County on Sunday.

Heath's outfield also played a unique role. While the three didn't have to make many diving catches, Taylor Sheerer's long arm from centerfield to Emily Montgomery at home plate kept two teams from scoring runs with the successful tag.

Green County is going to be incredible in the next few years. The Dragons dispatched Livingston Central in the opening round quite easily, and beat Heath on an error in 10 innings Saturday night. While Heath came back to defeat the Dragons to continue on Sunday, it wasn't easy. The Dragons lose two seniors, including No. 4 batter and Murray State signee Brittany Estes, and other than two juniors, played all underclassmen this weekend, including two capable eighth graders and a freshman soon-to-be phenom pitcher in Kasey Estes.

Brittany Estes slides home against Livingston Central catcher Kayla Moore on Saturday in the opening round of the All A Classic state softball tournament.

Photos by Tim Webb. See more of his work at timwebbphotography.com .

Saturday, May 9, 2009

All A Classic softball state tournament Day One

The Sun covered Region 1 and Region 2 in the All A Classic softball state tournament today in Jeffersontown, Ky. By Sun, I mean me. :)

Heath, First Region, won the first two games, then lost the third to Green County 1-0 in 10 innings on an error. With the way Kelleigh Jones pitched today — 36 strikeouts in 21 innings — the Pirates might be good to make a run through the loser's bracket. The Pirates need a few more hitters to make it out of the loser's bracket for good, though.

Livingston Central, Second Region, lost its first game to Green County (the Dragons are good if you couldn't tell or hadn't heard), then rallied to beat Bracken County in the second game, only to fall to Beth Haven the third game.

It's unfortunate for the Cardinals, who have eight seniors on the team. Not only do they leave on a sour note, but they missed their senior prom, too!!! On the bright side, the Cardinals will have a full-out softball prom next weekend. Way cool. If I wasn't out of town next weekend, I might try to crash it... :)

And despite my best efforts to plan for the weather, it still got a little cold on me tonight, and I did go to bed with a sunburn. I poured on the sun lotion early and often, but missed a few places. Like a strip along the inside of the left arm, and a patch on the back of my right hand. Nothing painful or tan-line setting thankfully.

I would have posted more today, but it was a busy day. The 16 teams played 22 games at Skyview Park today since the All A got rid of its handy sub-sectional qualifier game. I watched six of them. I'll be following Heath at 10:30 your time tomorrow, and I'll post when I can.

All A Classic

Looks like the All A Classic softball state tournament will start a few minutes before 1 p.m. Louisville time. Check back with my blog or tomorrow's Sun for more details.

Heading out to the field now.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Swinging for a Cure

I know this is a little late, but I wanted to applaud these two softball programs for their efforts to create awareness about breast cancer.

Marshall County and Graves County played a softball game on April 21, titling the event "Swinging for a Cure". Through T-shirt sales and other fundraisers, the two schools raised more than $2,300 for the American Cancer Society.

Players, coaches, and fans all were asked to wear pink marking the ocassion.