The Jenkins High School Lady Cavaliers softball team traveled to Ashland over the weekend to compete in the “Boyd County Spring Classic” tournament.
Twelve teams competed in pool play Friday evening and Saturday morning. Based on their performance in pool play, all 12 were then seeded for the afternoon’s medal round.
Play began for Jenkins on Friday evening against West Carter. The Lady Cavs jumped out to an early lead in the first inning. With one out in the inning, shortstop Emily Walker lined a single to centerfield. Walker then advanced to second on catcher Hillary Brashear’s ground out to third. Walker then stole third and scored on second baseman Brooke Webb’s double. Webb later scored a run when senior Whitney Gibson singled to left field.
The Lady Cavs scored again in the third inning when Brashear reached on error, advanced to third on a single by Webb, and scored on Gibson’s ground out. This would be the final run of the game, but the lead would stand and the Lady Cavs picked up a nice 3-0 win after the game was called because of darkness after five innings.
The Lady Cavs were anchored by solid defense and a strong outing by senior pitcher Rachel Thacker, who scattered four hits with no walks and four strikeouts.
The second game of pool play for Jenkins was an early 8:30 a.m. game on Saturday against the Rose Hill Lady Royals with the Lady Cavs claiming an 11-1 victory in six innings. Thacker was sharp again, allowing only four hits and one run to go along with another solid game by the defense.
Lady Cavs batters had 14 hits, led by second baseman Brooke Webb and centerfielder Ali Goff. Webb slugged four doubles, knocked in five runs and scored two runs, while Goff had three base hits, five stolen bases, two runs scored and a run batted in.
The win over Rose Hill allowed the Lady Cavs to advance to the gold medal round in the afternoon as the top seed from their pool. They began pool play in the medal round against Russell High School from the 16th Region. The Lady Cavs jumped to an early 1-0 lead in the second inning. With one out, first-baseman Gibson reached on an error and went to second on a single by thirdbaseman Kayla Stambaugh. After centerfielder Goff drew a walk to load bases, Thacker delivered a solid single to center scoring Gibson. Stambaugh was called out in a close play at home while trying to score from second on Thacker’s hit. Pinch runner Leisha Fleming, who had entered the game to run for Thacker, was then thrown out attempting to steal second to end the inning and the rally.
Russell loaded the bases in the first, third, and fifth innings, but thanks to a sparkling effort from the defense and a gritty performance from Thacker, only one run was allowed as Russell tied the game at 1-1 in third. After Russell took a 3-1 lead in the top of the seventh inning, Thacker gave way to junior Brooke Webb who pitched to three batters and struck out two of them to end the rally and keep the game close. The Lady Cavs ended up losing, 3-1.
Immediately after the game with Russell, the Lady Cavs played their third game of the day, this one against Boyd County, also from the 16th Region.
While Jenkins could muster only three hits and one run for the game, the Lady Cavs were able to keep things close until the fifth inning, when a 4-1 deficit swelled to 7-1. With Jenkins appearing to tire and losing its sharpness, Boyd County scored four more in the sixth inning to claim the win with a final score of 11-1.
The Lady Cavs were to be at home against Harlan Independent on Tuesday and Harlan County on Wednesday. They are scheduled to take on district rival Letcher County Central in an away game on Thursday (April 30).