The Western Hills Invitational softball tournament brought in some top-notch competition, and WHHS and Franklin County saw plenty of it this weekend at Lakeview Park.
The Lady Wolverines went 1-2 in the tournament and FCHS was 0-3. Both teams lost their first games in the single-elimination part of the event.
“This has been a fun field,” WHHS coach Jeff Pritchett said. “It’s good competition, and we appreciate teams coming down to Frankfort to see what the 41st District and 11th Region is all about.”
WHHS went 1-1 in its Friday games, losing 10-2 to Shelby County and beating Owen County 18-5.
“We were coming off a big district game,” Pritchett said about the Shelby County game, “and Friday night we came out flat. There’s no reason for that, and I’m not giving excuses.
‘”In the second game we decided to go up and hit the ball,” he added. “We were hitting the ball every time, and it was against the best pitcher we’ve seen this weekend. And everyone, from one to nine, got a hit.”
The Lady Wolverines (11-11) faced Eastern Saturday and lost 3-2.
Western Hills scored both of its runs in the second inning. Brooklyn Etherington singled, Elizabeth Owens reached on an error, and Torey Hawkins had a sacrifice bunt.
Lynsey McCoy followed with a two-run double.
Eastern scored a run in the third and took the lead with two more runs in the fourth inning.
“Our defense was solid,” Pritchett said. “Brooklyn did a good job pitching and Tabby (Barnes) did a good job catching. We just have to put more runs up there.
“We need to continue to improve at the plate and play every game the way we did against Owen County versus playing like that every now and then.”
McCoy hit a double and single against Eastern, and Shelby Morris and Etherington each had a base hit.
Against Shelby County, McKenna Brown hit two singles, Barnes singled twice, Etherington hit a double and Sawyer Coffey hit a single. Torey Hawkins pitched.
Morris hit a double and two singles against Owen County, Brown, Etherington and McCoy all singled twice, and Barnes, Owens, Coffey, Darby Taylor and Jessica Mangeot each had a base hit. Etherington was WHHS’ pitcher against Owen.
Western Hills plays its next game Tuesday at Owen County.
The Lady Flyers (16-9) got off to a rough start Friday, losing 8-0 to Henry Clay.
FCHS battled back in its next two games but came up short, losing 11-8 to Eastern Friday night and falling to North Laurel 10-6 Saturday.
“We blew up against Henry Clay,” FCHS coach Tracy Spickard said. “We didn’t play well at all. We had a lot of defensive mistakes, we swung at bad pitches.
“That’s not to take anything away from Henry Clay,” she added. “They’re a good team, but we didn’t show up.”
It was a different story against Eastern.
“Eastern has been highly ranked this year, and they won our tournament a couple of weeks ago,” Spickard said. “They have really good athletes.
“We had a much, much better effort,” she added. “We played really hard, we just came up a little bit short.”
The Lady Flyers had just one hit against Henry Clay – a single from Tori Zeigler.
Against Eastern, Kara Howard singled three times, Zeigler had two singles, Kiana Butler hit a double, and Macy Johnson, Ashley Hack, Brianna Banks and Emmy King all singled.
Howard pitched all three games for FCHS this weekend.
Franklin County scored a run in the first against North Laurel. Johnson reached on an error, Sydney Wiard hit a double, and a run scored when Shelby Sanders grounded out.
FCHS added a run in the third when Johnson, Wiard and Sanders hit consecutive singles, loading the bases with no outs.
Hack was hit by a pitch, bringing home a run, but two fielder’s choices and a strikeout ended the threat.
The Lady Flyers broke a 2-2 tie in the top of the fourth when Wiard grounded out with the bases loaded to score a run.
The Lady Jaguars put five runs on the board in the bottom of the fourth for a 7-3 lead, but FCHS came right back with three runs in the top of the fifth to make the score 7-6.
North Laurel committed two errors in the fifth inning, and Banks and Butler both singled.
Butler singled twice against NLHS, Wiard hit a double, and Howard, Johnson, Sanders and Banks each hit a single.
“We have to learn to capitalize on the opportunities before us,” Spickard said. “We had the bases loaded and no outs, and we get one run across because we had someone get hit.
“We’ve had a rough week and gotten away from doing the little things consistently,” she added. “We have to get back to that, executing the little things, in every facet of the game.”
The Lady Flyers will have a chance to do that this week with just one varsity game on their schedule. They play Thursday at Scott County.
“We had a much better effort the last two games,” Spickard said. “One of the strongest points of this team is when the chips are down, when they could roll over and concede a game, they don’t.
“They fight back, and that can go a long way.”