BEREA — Spotting Madison Southern a 4-0 lead left Western Hills’ softball team with a daunting task.
The Lady Wolverines battled, putting the tying run at the plate in the seventh inning, but Madison Southern won 5-1 at home Monday in the first round of the 11th Region Tournament.
It was the first time this season the teams had played each other.
“Their pitcher (Tessa Juett) was very good,” WHHS coach Brian Redmon said. “Our game with them during the season was canceled, and I was looking forward to coming down here and playing them.”
That would have given WHHS a chance to see Juett, who finished Monday’s game giving up two hits, six walks and no earned runs. She struck out 12 batters.
“She kept us off balance early,” Redmon said, “and it took us awhile to make adjustments at the plate. We started swinging the bats a little better later in the game.”
Madison Southern (26-8) scored a run in the first inning, two in the third and another in the fourth to go ahead 4-0.
Western Hills loaded the bases with one out in the fifth inning with singles by Maddie LeCompte and Makenna Briscoe and a walk to Darcey Burton.
LeCompte scored on a passed ball, but two strikeouts ended the inning with no more runs crossing the plate.
The Lady Eagles stretched their lead back to four with a run in the sixth inning, leaving WHHS trailing 5-1 going into the top of the seventh inning.
WHHS loaded the bases in the seventh on three walks, the last coming with two outs. A strikeout ended the threat and the game.
“We had the bases loaded, and we had opportunities,” Redmon said. “I’m proud of the kids. Even though things were not going our way, we didn’t stop fighting.
“It was not our day today.”
Western Hills had two hits in the game, the singles by LeCompte and Briscoe in the fifth inning.
Cynthia Stewart pitched a complete game for WHHS, giving up four earned runs and three walks with six strikeouts.
Samantha Cornelison led Madison Southern’s offense, going 4-for-4 with two doubles, two singles, two RBI and two runs scored.
The Lady Eagles will play Scott County today in the semifinals at Tates Creek. In the other semifinal, Woodford County will take on Lafayette.
WHHS finished the year at 23-12 and graduates four seniors: Stewart, Madison Gaines, Katy Redmon and Ryne Redmon.
“Our four seniors have done an outstanding job of leading us this year,” coach Redmon said. “It’s absolutely been a pleasure to coach them.”