East locks up No. 1 seed, sets records in win over Lady Gators
Warren East continues to remain perfect and set records in the process.
The Lady Raiders — the second-ranked team in Kentucky high school softball — kept their undefeated season alive on Wednesday night with a 6-0 shutout win over Greenwood at Penny Reece Field.
While the victory locked up the No. 1 seed in the upcoming District 14 Tournament, it also helped East — now 8-0 on district play — reach unprecedented heights.
“Big accomplishments — really proud and excited for the girls,” Warren East coach Philip McKinney said.
The 25 wins are the most in a single-season in program history, and the unscathed district record marks the first time the Lady Raiders have went perfect through regular-season district action.
In addition to those accomplishments, McKiney became the new leader in all-time fast pitch wins at WEHS, passing former coach Phil Burkeen with 225 victories.
“I feel like it matters a lot because a lot of people are gonna be coming for us just because we’ve done so well this season,” Warren East senior first baseman Jeyda Bays said. “Our district is pretty tough. We have a lot of good teams that are here locally.
“We’re just really proud that all of the work we put into the offseason showed and helped us get the No. 1 seed this year.”
Warren East, which finished with nine hits on the game, scored three runs in the top of the first inning and three more in the second to build its 6-0 advantage and put Greenwood (15-8, 6-2) away early.
The Lady Gators will be the No. 2 seed in the District 14 Tournament, with South Warren seeded third, Bowling Green fourth and Warren Central fifth.
Warren East wasted no time getting going as Bays sent a three-run home run over the left field fence to quickly give it a 3-0 lead after a half inning of play. Following singles from Kelsey Sparks and Lucy Patterson, Bays stepped to the plate and delivered her shot to give the Lady Raiders all the momentum.
“I felt like I didn’t hit it well at all, but I just got enough to send it over the fence,” Bays said. “She was throwing low in the zone, so I knew that I had to go down and get it and hit it hard and make something happen.”
East soon doubled its advantage in the ensuing inning, using a two-run double by Hailey Hymer and a Sparks RBI single to make it 6-0.
While Kya Elkin led off the frame with a single, Shelby Trent followed up with a double to set up Hymer’s hit. Then, with Hymer on, Sparks sent a hard groundball into the outfield to allow Hymer to cross the plate and put Greenwood in a deep hole.
The Lady Gators finished with three hits on the night but left six stranded on base.
Both teams are scheduled to be back in action Thursday as Warren East hosts Allen County-Scottsville and Greenwood travels to Logan County. Both games are slated for 5:30 p.m. first pitches.
“I just love the fact that we go out and play our hearts out and just play Warren East softball,” said Bays.
Warren East — 3 3 0 0 0 0 0 — 6
Greenwood — 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 — 0