OWENSBORO, KY — After making history by winning their first back-to-back 10th Region All “A” Classic, the Bracken County softball team still had more history to make.
This past weekend, the Lady Bears’ softball team went 2-1 on day one of pool play and made it to the semifinals on day two of the tournament. They fell to eventual state champion Owensboro Catholic.
Day 1 – Saturday – Pool Play
Bracken County 3, Lexington Christian 2
Bottom 1 – BC 1, LCA 0 – Bracken County got on the board quickly after Kyndall Johnson started out with a triple. She later scored on a throwing error.
Top 4 – BC 1, LCA 1 – Lexington Christian tied things up 1-1 after starting off the fourth inning with three straight singles. Ella Johnson struck out the side to get out of the jam.
Top 6 – LCA 2, BC 1 – The Lady Eagles took the lead after Avery Leach hit a two-out triple, followed by Anna Gorshak’s double.
Bottom 7 – BC 3, LCA 2 – With one out, Whitney Lippet and Kiersten Bess had back-to-back singles to put the tying and winning run on base. Senior Jalyn Hamilton singled on the first pitch to the third basemen, who made a throwing error to score both runs and give Bracken County the walk-off victory.
Bracken County – 8 hits, 0 walks, 6 strikeouts, 0 RBI, 0 errors.
Pitching – Ella Johnson: 7.0 innings, 5 hits, 2 runs, 0 walks, 19 strikeouts.
Hitting – Gordley: 2/3, Hamilton walk-off single
Lexington Catholic – 5 hits, 0 walks, 19 strikeouts, 2 RBI, 2 errors.
Bracken County 5, Livingston Central 2
Top 1 – BC 2, LC 0 – Bracken County got on the board early after back-to-back lead-off singles by Kyndall Johnson and Kamryn Gordley. Ella Johnson executed a sacrifice bunt to move both runners into scoring position with one out. Jordan Ahrens hit a single to score both runs and give the Lady Bears the early edge.
Bottom 1 – BC 2, LC 2 – Livingston Central scored early on two errors by the Bracken County defense. First, a dropped fly ball, and then an error on a bunt to make it 2-1. The runner who reached on the bunt later scored on a fielder’s choice ground ball.
Top 3 – BC 5, LC 2 – Bracken County retook the lead with a big inning. Kyndall Johnson led off the third with a double. Kamryn Gordley traded places with K. Johnson on her own double to give Bracken the one-run lead. Ella Johnson followed that up with another extra-base hit, this time a triple, to score Gordley and extend the lead 4-2. Jordan Ahrens grounded out and scored Ella Johnson on the fielder’s choice to give Bracken the 5-2 lead that they would hold for the rest of the game.
Bracken County – 8 hits, 1 walk, 1 strikeout, 5 RBI, 2 errors.
Pitching – Ella Johnson: 7.0 innings, 4 hits, 2 runs, 0 earned, 1 walk, 12 strikeouts.
Hitting – K. Johnson 3/4, Gordley 2/3, Aherns 1/3 3 RBI
Livingston Central – 4 hits, 1 walk, 12 strikeouts, 2 RBI, 1 error.
Russellville 13, Bracken County 1
Top 1 – BC 1, RUS 0 – Kyndall Johnson led off the game with a single, and Ella Johnson followed with a walk. Bracken County would score after two past balls and lead 1-0.
That would be Bracken County’s only lead in their third game of the day. Russellville would score in all five innings of the short game, with five runs coming in the fourth. Russellville had ten hits paired with five walks and three Bracken County errors. The Russellville pitcher Amayiah Collier is signed to play D1 softball at Central Arkansas (as a hitter).
Bracken County – 5 hits, 1 walk, 9 strikeouts, 0 RBI, 3 errors.
Russellville – 10 hits, 5 walks, 2 strikeouts, 9 RBI, 0 errors.
Day 2 – Sunday – Tournament Play
The Lady Bears finished up pool play by going 2-1 in Pool C. They would advance to the tournament as the Pool C #2 seed and play Pool D #1 seed, Raceland.
Bracken County 7, Raceland 2
Bottom 4 – RAC 1, BC 0 – Raceland got on the board first after a lead-off walk in the fourth, followed by a single from Vance. Francis would single for the Lady Rams to score Vance.
Top 6 – BC 7, RAC 1 – The Bracken County offense exploded for seven runs in the top of the sixth inning. Bess and Hamilton started off with singles with one out. Tarter grounded safe into a fielders choice scoring Bess to make it 1-1. Kyndall Johnson hit a fly ball single to left to score both runners and make it 3-1. Gordley followed by reaching safely on an error. Ella Johnson came up and hit a triple, scoring two runs to make it 5-1 Lady Bears. Ahrens then hit a two-run home run to make it 7-1 Bracken County over Raceland.
Bottom 7 – BC 7, RAC 1 – Raceland would manage to get one more run, but it wasn;t enough to overtake the Lady Bears’ dominant sixth inning.
Bracken County – 12 hits, 1 walk, 7 strikeouts, 7 RBI, 0 errors.
Pitching – Ella Johnson: 7.0 innings, 6 hits, 2 runs, 1 walk, 9 hits.
Hitting – 6/9 starters with hits, Johnson & Johnson and Ahrens with 2 RBIs.
Raceland – 6 hits, 1 walk, 9 strikeouts, 2 RBI, 3 errors.
Owensboro Catholic 5, Bracken County 2
Top 2 – OCATH 1, BC 0 – Owensboro Catholic scored first after a lead-off walk and a single was followed with another single from Robbins. Bracken County would get the next three outs.
Bottom 5 – OCATH 1, BC 1 – The Lady Bears broke up the perfect game by a lead-off double from Ahrens. Bess walked. Bess then stole second, and on the throw, Ahrens scored from third.
Top 6 – OCAH 4, BC 1 – O’Cath quickly retook the lead and started off the sixth with a single, hit by pitch, and walk. The Lady Aces had bases loaded with no outs. The Aces grounded into a fielders choice to get one out at home. Next, O’Cath would score on a passed ball, followed by a ground out to give O’Cath the 2-1 lead. The Lady Aces followed with a two-run, two out single to make it a 4-1 lead over Bracken County.
Bottom 6 – OCATH 4, BC 2 – Maddie Johnson started off the bottom of the sixth with a single. Kyndall Johnson followed with a double to score M. Johnson and make it a 4-2 deficit. However, Bracken would fail to get anything else going in the inning.
Top 7 – OCATH 5, BC 2 – O’Cath would hit a single, and the runner would later score on a bunt due to a fielding error.
Bracken County – 4 hits, 1 walk, 11 strikeouts, 1 RBI, 2 errors.
Pitching – Ella Johnson: 7.0 innings, 11 hits, runs, 3 earned, 3 walks, 6 strikeouts.
Hitting – Johnson, Johnson, and Johnson with 1 hit, Ahrens with 1 hit.
Owensboro Catholic – 11 hits, 3 walks, 6 strikeouts, 2 RBI, 1 error.
Bracken County fell to 18-10 but won four games at the All “A” State Tournament in Owensboro. The homesteading Owensboro Catholic Lady Aces would go on to win back-to-back All “A” State Championships. Bracken County made history, though, by making it to the semifinals for the first time in school history.