LEXINGTON — Franklin County’s softball team was right where it wanted to be Wednesday night, in the championship game of the 11th Region Tournament.
When the game ended Scott County was right where it’s been the past two years, holding the regional championship trophy.
“This is what you work all year for, this opportunity,” FCHS coach Tracy Spickard said after her team lost to Scott County 8-3 at Bryan Station High School.
“We just didn’t make plays, and it took us a lot longer to adjust our hitting than I thought it would, but we finally did.”
FCHS senior pitcher Kara Howard set Scott County down in order in the top of the first inning, which ended in a scoreless tie.
The Lady Flyers (29-9) ran into trouble in the second inning when a walk and two singles loaded the bases for Scott County (28-8).
Two errors allowed all three runners to score, and a fourth run crossed the plate on another miscue.
FCHS got a run back in the bottom of the second when Whitney Edwards led off with a single, and an error allowed her to advance to second.
She went to third on a groundout by Chandler Kelly and scored on a groundout by Alyssa Gaines.
Scott County pitcher Marlee Tevis led off the third inning with a home run, and two singles and an error accounted for another run as the Lady Cardinals (29-9) took a 6-1 lead.
“Our bats came alive early, same as last night (a 15-4 win over Dunbar),” Scott County coach Jeff Portwood said. “We got off to a good start and kept the pressure on them, and that was our intent coming into the game.”
The Lady Cardinals extended their lead to 8-1 in the sixth inning with two hits and an error.
FCHS, which had one hit through the first five innings, got its bats going in the sixth with singles from Kiana Butler, Sydney Wiard, Shelby Sanders and Edwards.
Scott County committed two errors in the inning, and the Lady Flyers scored two runs to make the score 8-3.
“I haven’t seen the scorebook, but probably six of their eight runs were unearned,” Spickard said. “I felt like we were prepared, and I thought the kids were loose and confident.
“We made a couple of mistakes and it just snowballed on us. But the girls never quit. They fought to the end and came back in the sixth, and I’m super proud of the effort they gave.
“They kept fighting, and that says a lot about their character and the type of kids they are.”
Tevis pitched a complete game for the win, and she finished with a single and a home run. Taylor Ricketts and Katie Stamper both singled twice, and Samantha Luckett and Kelci Long each had a base hit.
Edwards hit two singles for FCHS, and Sanders, Wiard, Butler and Gaines all singled. Howard went the distance in the circle.
“Give Scott County credit,” Spickard said. “They’re a great team, a well-coached team, and if you make a mistake defensively they’re going to capitalize on it.”
The Lady Flyers have six seniors on this year’s team — Edwards, Gaines, Howard, Sanders, Tori Zeigler and exchange student Renate Sundvold.
Named to the all-tournament team were Howard, Edwards and Sanders of FCHS; Stamper, Luckett, Ricketts and Tevis of Scott County; Stephanie Harvey and Riley Brown of Dunbar; Katelyn Mitchell and Sarah Cooley of Lafayette; Tori White of Henry Clay; Lindsay Anderson of Woodford County; Bethany Mays of Madison Southern; and Jennifer Ingram of Berea.
To see more photos from this game, click here.