By Denis House
LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
Even though his team lost both games in the girls’ Junior League District 4 Tournament, South London coach Roger Wattenbarger enjoyed his time with his team.
“I really enjoyed getting to coach these girls,” Wattenbarger said after his team lost 9-2 to Leslie County Tuesday night. “We got started late and didn’t have a lot of time to practice. But they did a good job.”
There were only two teams in the district tournament, and Leslie County beat South London 12-8 Monday night.
Errors played a role in Leslie County taking a 5-2 lead after three innings in Tuesday night’s game. South London committed two errors in both the first and third inning.
“Errors hurt us in both games,” Wattenbarger said.
Leslie County struck first, scoring four runs in the top of the first off South London pitcher Clarke Wyatt. Morgan Pugh led off with a triple to right and scored on a single by Jada Estep. After Emily Griffith reached on an error, both runners scored on a single by Lyndsey Shepherd to make it 3-0. With two outs, Lexi Haddix reached on a fielder’s choice and scored on a passed ball for a 4-0 lead.
South London got two of those runs back in the bottom of the first to cut the lead to 4-2.
Lexie Gibson doubled to lead off the home half of the first. With one out, Hayley Shelby singled to put runners on first and third for Wyatt, who singled to left to score Gibson. Shelby later scored on a single by Madison Gaines.
But that would be all the offense South London could muster against Leslie County pitchers Katie Johnson and Kameron Turner. South would get only two more hits the remainder of the game.
Leslie added a run in the top of the third when, with two outs, Kendra Hubbard doubled and scored when Haddix reached on an error.
Two more Leslie County runs came across in the fifth to up the lead to 7-2. Griffith and Shepherd hit back to back singles to lead off the inning. Both runners later scored.
Leslie County scored twice in the seventh to make it 9-2 as Estep and Shepherd scored. Shepherd tripled and scored on when Kendra Hubbard grounded out to Wyatt.
South London tried to rally in the bottom of the inning. With one out, Heather Scalf reached on an error. After Gibson popped out to the pitcher, Faith Feltner smacked a double to left, but as she rounded second, she fell to the ground in pain with a possible dislocated knee. She would be taken away in an ambulance. Both runners were left stranded when Shelby grounded out to end the game.
“We played hard, Leslie just had a better team than use,” Wattenbarger said.
Leslie County 12, South London 8
Leslie County raced out to a 10-1 lead before South London answered with four runs in the third to cut the lead to 10-5. Shelby and Clarke reached on a walk and a single and were brought home on a Savannah Cox double. Madison Gaines tripled in Cox and later scored on a passed ball.
Two more South London runs came home in the fourth to cut the lead to 10-7. Feltner singled and Shelby reached on a fielder’s choice. Both runners scored when Wyatt tripled.