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District 29 softball: OC wins fourth straight title

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By Brad Stephens

BEDFORD – Make it 4-for-4 for Oldham County under coach Steve Leanhart.

Delaney Sowell was 3-for-3 with two doubles Thursday as the Lady Colonels beat North Oldham 6-3 to win their fourth straight District 29 title. OC has won the championship all four years under Leanhart.

The Lady Colonels (21-11-1) will draw a district runner-up at the Region 8 tournament next week in Gallatin County, while North (15-16) will draw a district champion.

"These girls have been improving and improving and improving and here in the postseason, that's what we need to do," Leanhart said. "I'm very proud of them."

OC took a 6-0 lead, scoring runs in each of the first three innings. After allowing North to score three runs in the fifth, the Lady Colonels held on for the win.

The team we came out with this year, it's really good," senior right fielder Bri Cook said. "...Everybody plays well together all around. There's no aspect of this team that doesn't get along."

Freshman center fielder Payton Hamm led off the OC first with a double off North pitcher Sam Maiocco. Hamm moved to third on a passed ball, then scored on an RBI single from Ryane Shelton.

After KK Rigdon reached on an infield single and Sowell was hit by a pitch, sophomore pitcher Kirsten Smith scored courtesy runner Britney Ryan on an RBI single, making the score 2-0.

The Lady Mustangs threatened in the top of the second, with junior first baseman Melissa Martineson and freshman third baseman Cassidy Rives leading off with back-to-back singles.

Smith struck Mikayla Benson out but then walked seventh grade shortstop Ashton Dowdy, loading the bases with one out.

Smith got out of the jam by getting Megan Snyder to ground into a force out at home plate and then picking Rives off third during Megan Rohrbach's at-bat.

"I knew that our team would pull it out," Cook said. "We always have each other's back.

"Kirsten pitched a really, really great game. She had our backs, we had hers."

The Lady Colonels added a run in the third when Cook scored on one of North's three errors.

OC then made its lead 6-0 with three runs in the third.

Rigdon led off with a single, moving to third on a Sowell double. An infield single off the bat of Smith scored Rigdon, while an error on that play allowed Sowell to come home and make the Lady Colonel lead 5-0.

Smith moved to third on a Taylor Sheller infield single, then scored on a Cook single, pushing the lead to 6-0.

The Lady Mustangs scored three runs in the fifth on a Martineson RBI single, a wild pitch and a bases-loaded walk to Benson. Smith ended that inning by getting Dowdy out, preserving the Lady Colonel lead.

OC held down its lead over the last few innings by playing good defense, Leanhart said. The Lady Colonels didn't make any errors Thursday.

"Kirsten had one bad inning and she walked a few," Leanhart said. "Just our defense there at the end helped out. We had that one bad inning but luckily we scored the first three innings in a row and got up on them a little bit."

 

North Oldham (15-16) – 0 0 0 0 3 0 0 – 3 8 3

Oldham County (21-11-1) – 2 1 3 0 0 0 x – 6 10 0