EIGHT and counting!!!!
EIGHT and counting!!!!
There are several things that are certain in in life around the 17th District and one of those is the Central Hardin softball team hoisting a District Tournament trophy is one of them. Since 2009 (which is the last time another team other than one wearing the powder blue colors of the Lady Bruins), no other team has won it and the closest any team came was probably 2013 when North Hardin lost 4-0 in the championship game at Elizabethtown. Since then, it has been pretty much a muscle flexing for head coach Jaime Goodman’s team who has outhit, outran and outpitched everyone within sight.
This season was no different as Central Hardin ran the table during the regular season schedule and mercy-ruled John Hardin in the semi-finals with little difficulty. Meanwhile in the other bracket, Elizabethtown and North Hardin met for the seventh straight time for the right to play the Lady Bruins. For the third straight season, it was an intriguing game between two teams which are very much alike.
Unfortunately for the Lady Panthers, an injury to starting pitcher Nicole Blackstone sidelined her before the game and emergency starter Taylor Thomas was forced into action on the circle. Despite Thomas’ gritty performance, it was another Taylor (senior Taylor Walters), who became the pitching hero throwing a complete game win as North Hardin advanced.
The following day, rain washed out the championship game forcing it to be moved to Thursday giving both teams time to prepare for the task at hand. Central Hardin used that time to warm up their bats and jumped out to a 2-0 first inning lead against starter Brooke Mahanna as they scored in every inning pounding out 10-hits and finalizing the game with freshman catcher Bailey Richardson’s hit a three-run homer to end the game in a 11-1 mercy rule.
Pitcher Kaci Goedde did the rest scattering two hits and never allowing the Lady Trojans a chance to get settled and Central Hardin constantly pressured the North Hardin defense forcing four errors and always making the Lady Trojans play defensively.
That’s what the Lady Bruins do best.
So both teams head to the 5th Region Tournament which will be at Central Hardin and a powerful home field advantage for the Lady Bruins. Lest they start to get too relaxed, then Goodman has the perfect ammunition to keep them on their toes. The last time Central Hardin hosted the Region (in 2010), it was two different teams playing in the final outside the 17th (Green County and Nelson County).