Western Hills High School softball coach Jeff Pritchett was beyond pleased with his team’s defense against Woodford County Tuesday in the 41st District softball tournament at Bob Fannin Field.
But the Lady Wolverines couldn’t get anything going offensively until the final inning and eventually fell 5-1 to the Lady Jackets.
Woodford pitcher Bethany Todd had a no-hitter going against WHHS until the final inning, when Torey Hawkins’ double to right field provided the Lady Wolverines with their first base runner since Meghan Yount walked in the first inning.
“It was a little frustrating on offense,” Pritchett said. “We knew who was going to pitch. We practiced and practiced, but (Todd) pitched low and away and painted the corners. She’s a good pitcher.
“What we didn’t have at the plate, we had defensively,” Pritchett added. “We’ve improved so much defensively. The first couple of games this season, we had 20-25 errors. Today, we didn’t have any.”
The Lady Jackets got on the board early when Lindsay Anderson tripled to right field and scored on a wild pitch.
In the second inning, the Lady Jackets scored three more runs to take control of the game.
Mandy Head led off with a double to left field, and Kristen Eads came in to run for her. Cheyenne Jamison singled home Eads and took second base on the throw home. After a flyout, Kyla Simpson walked.
Brooke Corum came up next and hit a hard grounder that hit Simpson in the base path. One umpire called Simpson out, but another umpire said the ball was unplayable by the WHHS defense meaning Simpson was safe at second.
“That wasn’t a game-changer,” Pritchett said of the call. “It was a judgment call, and it didn’t go our way. It definitely didn’t help though.”
With the bases now loaded, Kaitlyn Coleman walked, scoring Jamison. Anderson then blooped a single to score Simpson. A strikeout and popup ended the inning.
After that, the Lady Wolverines kept Woodford County off the scoreboard until the bottom of the fifth when Keely Mousette launched a homerun over the right centerfield fence.
Down 5-0, the Lady Wolverines got on the scoreboard in the top of the seventh inning when Hawkins doubled to right field, and Whitley Bardroff came in to run for her. Bardroff scored on LaKenzie Ritchie’s hard ground ball that got past Jamison at second base.
Hawkins and Taylor Slade pitched for Western Hills while Todd threw a complete game for the Lady Jackets.
The Lady Wolverines end their season 10-20. Western Hills’ seniors are Aleesha Ailiff and Abbey Sheets.
Pritchett is excited about next year with practically everybody back. He said he’d like for his players to develop a stronger mental approach in the offseason.
“I want their knowledge to grow, too,” Pritchett said. “You can learn so much about the game by watching games and other teams. We have a talented bunch, and I’d like for them to take their games to the next level. There’s no doubt we can do that.”
Woodford County, 26-10, will take on Franklin County tonight in the district tournament championship game set for 5:30 at Bob Fannin Field.