Lady bombers knocked out in semifinals
The Lady Bombers advanced to the First Region Tournament semifinals with a thrilling 8-6 win on over the Lady Comets on Monday, May 26th at Calloway County. The Lady Bombers fell behind 1-0 in the first inning, but things could have been worse as Carlisle County stranded three runners on base. The Bombers then claimed their first lead of the game in the fourth. A two RBI double by Leah Shelley scored Ashleigh Tyson and Rebekah Hogancamp. Shelley would later score on a Jayde Newton single to provide Ballard Memorial with the 3-1 lead. The Lady Bombers would get out of another jam as the Lady Comets left the bases loaded again in the fourth.
The Lady Comets regained the lead with a three run fifth to regain the 4-3 advantage. Senior Taylor Foster delivered a two RBI double in the top of the sixth to score Jade Babb and courtesy runner Shelby Elrod. Foster scored on a single by Shelby Hawes to give the Lady Bombers the 6-4 lead. The Lady Comets would not go down without a fight as they rallied in the bottom of the sixth to tie the game at six all. In the top of the seventh, Shelley would get a two out single. Senior Jade Babb then delivered with a school record fifth home run of the season to claim the 8-6 lead. The Lady Bombers would hold on for the two run victory and semifinal matchup with the number one team in the state in the Lady Mustangs of McCracken County. ‘I think we both made some mistakes at critical times of the game. We just scored at the right time,” said Ballard Memorial Coach Terry Amis.
A passing storm moved through Calloway County on Tuesday just as teams were set to take the field to start the game. After about a 45 minute delay, the game got underway. Hogancamp delivered a one out double. Shelley and Babb both walked to load the bases with one out for the Lady Bombers. However Newton and Foster both struck out on six pitches to end the threat. The Lady Mustangs wasted little time to make their presence felt. A leadoff drive to centerfield went off the glove of Foster allowing the Lady Mustangs to put their first runner into scoring position at second base. A bunt single and the base runner kept running putting runners on second and third with no outs. A walk would load the bases. The cleanup hitter put the ball over the head of first baseman Shelley allowing two runners to score. The first eight batters reached base for McCracken and by the time the Lady Bombers were able to get three outs on the Lady Mustangs, they held a commanding 8-0 lead. “I think if we had scored in the first inning, it would have set a different tone mentally for our kids,” said Amis, adding, “I think we were intimidated by that team. We missed some balls out there today that we normally would not have missed at all.”
The Lady Bombers got two more runners on base in the second, but once again failed to get a runner home. The Lady Mustangs made them pay as they added another four runs on three hits, a walk, a hit batter, and an error. The Lady Mustangs went into cruise control as they held the 12-0 lead after two innings. McCracken added two more runs with two outs in the third for the 14-0 lead. McCracken got another run in the fourth, but left the bases loaded themselves for the 15-0 advantage. “We gave them 22 outs in the first four innings between errors, walks and hit batters,” said Amis. The Lady Bombers were not able to get on the scoreboard in the fifth allowing the Lady Mustangs to advance to the championship game. The Lady Bombers ended the season with 13-18 record including the school’s first ever All A Regional Championship. “I think we played our best softball during the All A stretch,” said Amis. He said playing the number one team in the state, “was a good growing experience,” for his team. The Lady Bombers finished the last 21 games of the year going 13-9 after starting the season winless in their first nine games. The Lady Bombers lose Jade Babb and Taylor Foster to graduation. “We still have a lot of growing to do,” said Amis. He added, “We’re going to be a very, very good softball team down the road.” He said the team will be setting higher goals next year and he would share those goals with the team during their end of the year banquet.