2018 17th DISTRICT SOFTBALL TOURNAMENT
2018 17th District Softball Tournament
Much like the Baseball version of the 17th District Tournament, the softball tourney final has had only three different participants since 2007 meaning either Central Hardin, North Hardin or Elizabethtown have made it to the last day. This time was no different and although the Lady Bruins, who have represented the Region proudly the last three seasons, that wasn’t going to change at all even though there was a question as to whether any of the four other teams could even make it interesting.
The Lady Bruins were once again the champions, but they went about it a little differently this time as going into the Tournament’s semi-final’s the consensus was that the first match between No.1 and No. 4 would be a snoozer and the second game between No.2 and No.3 would be the best matchup of the two. Who would have thought that might not be true.
Sure enough, Central Hardin did win game one against John Hardin, but it wasn’t quite as easy as many thought it might be. After being outscored 27-1 in their two regular season matchups, the logical thinking was that Central Hardin could name the score, but it wasn’t nearly as easy this time around.
Lady Bulldogs pitcher Haley Wolfskill did allow 13-hits and the Lady Bruins did hit three balls out of the park, but the sophomore hurler did a good job of scattering those hits and her defense may have played their best game against the mighty Lady Bruins only committing one error. On the other hand, Central Hardin’s Eleecia Hager wasn’t really giving John Hardin anything scattering two hits, while Emily Bryant homered twice and Bailey Richardson got the other. Still, it felt like a moral victory for John Hardin’s coach Deron Bell, who loses only two seniors.
Meanwhile, the next game between North Hardin and Elizabethtown looked to be the best of the two as there were 38-runs scored between the two in their two District games which they split. North Hardin had won the last three playoff games between the two and with three different coaches, so many thought this wouldn’t be any different except it was. Elizabethtown had gone through a major facelift without their best two power hitters and starting pitcher gone and a young group of slap hitters and a freshman pitcher which wasn’t even with the team last season and they took advantage of several defensive lineup changes for North and piled up a 5-0 lead after one.
First they hit Lady Trojan starter Emilee Fife and then Maggie Terrell, who was seeing her first action in nearly a month and then Grayson Lowery piling up 14-hits to North’s three. It was a close to a perfect game as you could ask for from a team which played only 18-games because of weather issues. The Lady Trojans came into the game with a different catcher, shortstop and leftfielder, but that didn’t matter as the Lady Panthers took advantage of every passed ball, every stolen base opportunity and used a season’s worth of luck in one game. Tristen Colasanti took the early lead and never allowed the Lady Trojans to get comfortable striking out several batters looking and hit a grand slam home run to finalize the 16-0 rout.
While the semi-finals were interesting, the Championship game was little of the same as the Lady Bruins won, but it wasn’t easy again as Central Hardin hitters struggled against Colasanti and got only five hits off her, but her opposite number Kaci Geodde was even better only allowing four and struck out ten in a 3-0 win. The Lady Bruins continued to struggle at the plate as the last two games, opposing pitchers have tried different ways to slow down their attack with a much more relaxed attitude in the circle and not allowing them to dictate the pace. On the other hand, Lady Bruin batter sdid likewise sometimes calling time to disrupt Colasonti’s pace until eventually the Lady Bruins batters got untracked. Both Goedde and Hager were the difference not allowing any runs and this will go a long way in deciding their fate in the Region Tourney.
5th Region Softball Tournament Preview
Marion County will host the 2018 5th Region Softball Tournament and once again weather could be a deciding factor. With four games scheduled Monday, semi-s on Tuesday and the Final on Thursday (allowing for Baseball to finish up Wed), there should be plenty to talk about. The last two times Marion County hosted the tourney in 2007 and 2012, the semi-finals saw both games go into extra innings. The first game on Monday will feature Green County and Taylor County. The Lady Dragons were victorious on May 4th (9-6) and this should be a good one which starts at 12. The second game will pit Elizabethtown against Washington County at 2pm and the Lady Commanderettes met the Lady Panthers earlier in April winning 8-0. A lot has changed as both teams have continued to win and Christy Baker has suddenly had her team on a upward spiral making the Tournament the last four seasons. Central Hardin will face Hart County at 4 and the Lady Bruins threw a no-hitter against Hart earlier in the season. The final game will feature Thomas Nelson and Marion County at 6 as Haley Mattingly will get to showcase her pitching after a brillant performance last season. Should be interesting as everyone tries to knock the Lady Bruins off the mountain.