In June 2 Issue
The Russell County Lady Laker softball team came up just short of their bid for the 16th district championship as they lost to Metcalfe County but still earned a trip to this week's regional tournament with a 5-2 semifinal win over Clinton County Wednesday night.
"The Clinton game was one we have been getting ready for a while now," said Lady Laker coach Stephanie McGowan. "We had beaten them in the Laker Classic, but when it came actual district play, we had fallen short both times. Leading up to the tournament, we practiced on some physical things, but more than anything else, we really tried to keep a focus on being mentally ready."
McGowan said there were a couple of games this season that the team just didn't show up for.
"Physically, yes, but mentally, no," she said. "We really wanted to make sure that didn't happen when it came to district play."
When it comes down to the end of the season it is win or go home.
"We have told the girls over and over we need to see a difference in where we started and where we are finishing," she said. "That first win (Wednesday night) just felt great. I was very proud of the way they played. We were making plays and getting to balls that no one expected us to. They put hits together and did their job when they needed to. They were playing like they loved softball."
In the game Baylee Hadley went 1-3, Sara McClure went 3-4 and Taylor Irvin went 2-3 with two RBI.
In the 4-0 Metcalfe loss, McGowan said she was happy with the way her team played.
"There were a couple of plays I didn't like that I thought we should have definitely done better, but we didn't get it done on offense," she said. "You can't win with zero. Overall, we played them much better than we did the last time we faced each other, so it was still improvement. It was one of those things that the girls wanted it so bad, after the game we had to remind them that we made it to region, our season isn't over."
McGowan said she was excited about the ball team that was out there last Wednesday night.
"We have seen them here and there, but I was wondering when they would show up again," she said. "Jamie and I are looking forward to region and seeing how far this team will go. We've got nothing to lose and everything to gain. That makes for a scary team."
Against Metcalfe County, Sky Covarrubias went 1-3 and Brittany Simpson went 1-2.
Making the all-district team for the Lady Lakers was Baylee Hadley, Taylor Irvin, Brittany Simpson and Cheyenne Simpson.
The Lady Lakers traveled to Western Kentucky University Monday where they faced the tough Lady Purples of Bowling Green. Bowling Green jumped ahead early and went on to defeat the Lady Lakers in the opening round of the 4th region tournament by a score of 9-2.
The Lady Lakers, under first year coach Stephanie McGowan, finished the season with a 9-22 overall record and won four of their last eight ballgames, including the district win over Clinton County to put them in the regional tournament.