Softball: Lady Colonels win opening state round

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By Sam Draut

Oldham County softball defeated Bourbon County 9-7 in the opening round of the KHSAA state tournament in Owensboro Thursday June 7. The win sends the Lady Colonels into the winner’s bracket of the double-elimination tournament, the first time Oldham County has won its first round game in the state tournament since 2007.

Kalee Rose pitched a complete game, allowing seven runs on 12 hits. Elana Ornelas went 2-for-3 with two RBIs and two runs scored, including a home run. Emily Lindell went 3-for-4 with a run scored and RBI. Taylor Sheller and Amaya Wutherich each scored two runs.

Sheller opened the game with a single through the right side and moved the second on a sacrifice bunt by Allie Williams. Elana Ornelas drove in Sheller with a fly ball lifted over the left centerfield wall for a two-run home run.

“That helped us to settled in,” Leanhart said. “Especially with the pressure, it being 0-0 to a two-run lead.”

In the bottom half of the first, Rose worked into trouble with runners on first and second with one out, but Kayley Batts caught a line drive and tossed to Sheller at second base for a double play.

“We played some tough defense,” Leanhart said. “The girls knew what to do and made smart plays.”

The Lady Colonels added another run in the top of the fourth inning. Taylor Jackson walked with one out and was courtesy run for by Caroline King. A single by Allison Vialpando moved King to third.

Lindell laid down a bunt as King slid into home, beating the tag to give Oldham County a 3-0 advantage.

After Rose held Bourbon County scoreless through the first three innings, Bourbon County answered with three runs to tie the game.

Jules Johnson tripled to centerfield to score Angie Snapp, who singled to leadoff the inning. Katy Ritchie drove in Johnson with an RBI single. An RBI groundout by Sydney Norman scored Kyra Cutis later in the inning.

Oldham County didn’t take long to retake the lead.

Amaya Wuthrich led off the top of the fifth inning with a walk. Sheller was hit by a pitch to put runners on first and second with no outs.

With one out, Ornelas drove in Wutherich with a double to right centerfield to allow the Lady Colonels to retake the lead. Jackson brought in Sheller with a bunt placed down the first base line. Ornelas scored Oldham County’s final run of the inning on a fielder’s choice off the bat of Allison Vialpando.

With one out and one on in the bottom of the fifth inning, Katie Fister hit a fly ball off the centerfield wall. Williams threw to Wutherich, who ran to tag Fister in between second and third. After tagging out Fister, Wutherich threw home and Jackson placed a tag for the third out of the inning.

“I saw both of the runners were in a position where they couldn’t really do anything,” Wutherich said. “I tagged the runner and threw home, we happened to get her.”

Wutherich reached base with one out in the top of the sixth inning on an infield error. Williams was hit by a pitch, followed by an intentional walk by Ornelas. Wutherich and Williams both scored on an infield error off the bat of Jackson to give Oldham County an 8-3 lead.

Madison Davis drove in Lindell with a single in the top of the seventh inning to extend Oldham County's margin to six.

“We struggled a little bit with the slow pitching, but once we got around at least once in the lineup I knew we would catch on,” Lindell said. “It’s patience, our nerves were obviously high knowing it’s the first game of the state tournament. Our team power through.”

With the bases loaded and no outs, Hannah McCord singled to left center to score Norman. Johnson followed with a double to left center to drive in two runs. Micah Hays singled down the third base line to trim Oldham County’s lead to two.

With runners on first and third with one out, Ornelas caught a sharply hit line drive in left field for the second out. Rose had a strikeout to end the game.

“Kalee really got us through there, we had a couple nice defensive plays,” Wutherich said.