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 .

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