With the storms early this week, it threatened to post pone the district tournament. Both the Lady Cougars of Logan County and the Lady Panthers of Russellville hoped that the rain would stay away long enough to get the district game in.
Both teams have been showing steady improvement all season long. The Lady Cougars defense and pitching seemed to have caught up with their hot bats they have been swinging all season. The Lady Panthers have been plagued by errors that compound themselves in the inning early in the year, but as of late they have shown that special resilient that made them incredibly hard to put away.
With the host school Todd County working double time to get the field semi ready the district tournament went off with only a slight delay at the beginning of the day. The day started off with the Lady Panthers falling to the Lady ‘Cats 10-0, followed by the Lady Cougars taking down the host school Lady Rebels 9-2 before falling to the Lady ‘Cats in the title game 6-0.
The Lady Panthers would be up first and would take on the number one seeded Franklin-Simpson Lady ‘Cats. The Lady Panthers from Russellville got their first chance to show the Lady ‘Cats that things have changed since the last two times they played. They showed off that stubborn refusal to go away as well as flashed the defensive leather time and time again.
But Franklin was just too much as their pitching kept the Lady Panthers off the board and their juggernaut offense grounded away at Russellville handing the Lady Panthers a 10-0 loss. With the loss the Lady Panthers will go into the off season a little earlier than they wanted.
Next up was the Lady Cougars trying to earn their way into the region tournament next week with a victory over their district rivals and host school Todd County Lady Rebels.
Logan County would surprise the Lady Rebels with four quick runs in the early innings before Todd County would cut the lead in half to 4-2. Going into the last two innings the game was as tight as any game has been for the Lady Cougars. Their defense and pitching though was right there when they needed it.
“They found a way,” LCHS head coach Michael Crawford said. “These kids found a way. Shelby gutted it out, she liked to throw the ball tonight I guess, she was throwing pitch after pitch after pitch and she found a way to get people out.”
Then with two outs in the seventh inning the Lady Cougars mounted a rally that all but ended the Lady Rebels’ season. The Lady Cougars tacked on five insurance runs and then closed out the game for the 9-2 victory. With the victory the Lady Cougars guaranteed themselves a spot in the Region 4 tournament next week.
“They busted their tales and did a great job,” coach Crawford said.
But there would be no rest for the weary as the Lady Cougars had to quickly turn around and get ready for a match up for the district title that night against the Lady ‘Cats. And with Shelby Milam throwing a lot of pitches in the first game the coaching staff wanted to save her arm and handed the ball over to 8th grader Megan Ferguson.
And did she ever step up to the plate and deliver.
“She shut them down pretty well,” coach Crawford said.
She baffled, confused, and shut down the Franklin-Simpson offense. And when the Lady ‘Cats could put the bat on the ball the stout defense behind her did their job perfectly.
“We took care of the ball and did good things,” coach Crawford said. “We didn’t throw the ball all over the place, we didn’t make mistakes, and that’s what we’ve been working on throughout the year.”
In the sixth inning though the wheels came off as Franklin-Simpson, who had only managed one measly run in five innings, tacked on five more runs to go up 6-0 going into the seventh inning.
That would become the final score as the Lady Cougars couldn’t muster a run in their half of the seventh and fell in the title game 6-0.
Now the Lady Cougars will look ahead to the next week. They will begin preparing for the Region 4 tournament as soon as they possibly can.
“I don’t have a clue who we’ve got, but I think it’s very nice that these kids have earned it and they will get a chance to play at Western, but our goal is not just to play but to do something and these kids are poised and ready to do that,” coach Crawford said.
The official draw will be Saturday morning but the potential teams they could face in that first round would be Bowling Green, Glasgow, or Metcalfe County.