LONDON — The 13th Region Fastpitch Tournament is set with games beginning Monday at South Laurel High School.
Crystal Stidham’s Corbin Lady Redhounds (21-7) enter the tournament as the region’s No. 2 ranked team while looking to defend their 13th Region crown.
Chris Edward’s No. 1 ranked North Laurel Lady Jaguars (31-2) are favored to win after defeating Corbin on May 8, 6-1.
No. 3 ranked South Laurel (18-2) and No. 4 ranked Pineville (11-9) are two teams to keep an eye on along with No. 5 ranked Lynn Camp (19-15).
Middlesboro (16-13), who comes in at the sixth ranked team, is red-hot, and can’t be overlooked while No. 7 ranked Clay County (13-15) and No. 8 ranked Harlan (6-20) are looking to make some noise.
Pineville and Harlan will begin the tournament Monday at 6 p.m.
Lady Mountain Lion pitcher Rachel Howard will bring in a 2.23 ERA along with 248 strikeouts.
The Lady Green Dragons are led by Addison Jackson (.608 batting average), and Ella Lisenbee (.569 batting average, seven home runs).
Corbin versus Clay County will follow at 8 p.m.
The Lady Redhounds defeated the Lady Tigers twice this season, 12-0, and 12-3, respectively.
Corbin is led by Danni Foley (12-2, 2.18 ERA; .500 batting average, 39 RBI) and Kallie Housley (6-4, 2.44 ERA; .500 batting average, five home runs, 45 hits).
“I’m excited for my girls to be back in the region again this year with another chance to make a run for the title,” Corbin coach Crystal Stidham said. “It isn’t something they take for granted, they know every game matters, and they are so excited to have the opportunity to be there.
“As far as the draw goes, it’s tournament time and it’s focus one game at a time,” she added. “Our focus is on Clay. We’ve faced them twice, Coach Rice has a good team, and we have to show up and be ready to play. My Lady Redhounds are goal-oriented. They have had a goal all season and it was to be right back here with this opportunity to repeat. They know the road is one game at a time, focusing on each team we face. But I also want them to live in each and every moment, enjoy it, and just give it all they’ve worked for all season. Let’s go Lady Redhounds.”
Clay County will depend on pitcher Abby Bowling (11-9, 3.39 ERA, 169 strikeouts) to get things done in the pitcher’s circle while Emi Reynolds (.315 batting average, 14 stolen bases) leads the way at the plate.
In what could be the best first round matchup in the tournament, crosstown rivals North Laurel and South Laurel will face off at 6 p.m. Tuesday.
The Lady Jaguars have defeated the Lady Cardinals four consecutive games, including this season’s 7-1 decision.
“Honestly, I never expected to draw anyone but South,” Edwards said. “Just the feeling that I had even before the draw started. I told my staff that my guess was going to be South and told Coach (Carly) Mink we could skip these meetings if they were always gonna turn out with us playing each other.
“Now we have a few days to prepare, get our girls where they need to be and hopefully play a good game Tuesday,” he added. “Our focus will only be on South and trying to advance. Last year, we had to play them in the first round and we won in the bottom of the seventh. Coach Mink is a terrific coach, I guarantee she will have her girls ready to play and if we’re not prepared, we will have a difficult game. There isn’t a team in this tournament that can’t beat us, so we better be ready to play every day. I know that and I’ll make sure the girls know that. I’m glad the draw is over and we all can get back to the practice field and back to work. Go Jags.”
North Laurel is led by senior Emily Sizemore, who has a .513 batting average, 10 home runs, 18 doubles, 10 triples, 60 hits, and 38 RBI.
Pitching-wise, the Lady Jaguars are led by Emma Carl, Haley Cooper, and Reagan Isaac. Carl is only a seventh-grader, but has impressed all season. She is 12-0 with a save while striking out 64 batters, and garnering a 2.22 ERA. Isaac is 10-1 with four saves, and a 3.28 ERA while Cooper is 9-1 with one save, and a 3.23 ERA.
South Laurel is led by Aubree Laster at the plate with a .404 batting average. She has 17 stolen bases, 40 hits, and 33 runs scored.
Eighth-grader Kenzie Williams leads the way in the pitcher’s circle with a 12-3 record, and a 2.51 ERA. She also has 169 Ks on the season.
“We’re excited for next week and hopefully we’re able to put three good games together and compete for the region championship,” South Laurel coach Carly Mink said. “We’re going to get to work and be ready to go for Tuesday.”
The final game of first round action will be on Tuesday when Middlesboro and Lynn Camp face off against each other at 8 p.m. The two teams have played once this season with the Lady Yellow Jackets coming away with an 8-4 victory on April 25.
“We’re excited to be playing in the regional tournament again this season,” Lynn Canp coach Nikki Hendrix said. “We played Middlesboro once this season and lost 8-4. We are going to get prepared for that game and try to make some noise.”
Middlesboro is led by Kaylee Lawson at the plate. She’s batting .480 with 47 hits, 39 runs scored, 28 RBI, and 23 stolen bases. Lawson also has an 8-7 record, and three saves, in the pitcher’s circle along with a 3.75 ERA. Kenna Lawson is 8-6 with four saves, and a 2.81 ERA.
Allison Messer leads Lynn Camp at the plate with a .528 batting average. She has seven home runs, 56 hits, 40 RBI, 38 runs scored, and 15 stolen bases. Jorja Carnes leads the way in the pitcher’s circle with an 11-12 mark, 4.33 ERA, and 13- strikeouts.
13th Region Fastpitch Tournament
At South Laurel High School
Monday, May, 22
Pineville vs. Harlan, 6 p.m.
Corbin vs. Clay County, 8 p.m.
Tuesday, May 23
North Laurel vs. South Laurel, 6 p.m.
Middlesboro vs. Lynn Camp, 8 p.m.
Thursday, May 25
6 p.m. & 8 p.m.
Friday, May 26
L4 Security 13th Region Media Network Tournament Rankings
1. North Laurel
3. South Laurel
5. Lynn Camp
7. Clay County
13th Region RPI Tournament Team Ratings
1. North Laurel (.68193)
2. Corbin (.60221)
3. South Laurel (.56040)
4. Clay County (.49999)
5. Lynn Camp (.48337)
6. Middlesboro (.48323)
7. Pineville (.46521)
8. Harlan (.36275)
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