LADY BRUINS BREAK EVEN!
2018 KHSAA Softball State Tournament
Lady Bruins Break Even!
For Central Hardin, the 5th Region titan for the last four years, this was an opportunity to end so much suffering and misery at the KHSAA State Softball Tournament. This was not the same team like so many other years which was like a power station with home run hitters that sent missiles over the outfield walls in Owensboro. This was a team which relied just as much on the little things like timely base running, bunting, stealing, strong pitchng and most importantly things were falling into place for them. They were getting the balls to drop at the right time, causing defenders to make mistakes and if they could do that for five games they could bring home the first state title for the sport at the school which is starting to develop a reputation for athletic excellence. After a close win over a tough Ballard (Louisville) team, the Lady Bruins were first round winners for the first time since 2011 and followed that up with another win over Clay County the following day. Now 2-0, head coach Jaime Goodman’s team could do something they had NEVER done during their State Tournament history and that was win three games and put themselves in the top three in the winners bracket. Then things suddenly changed again. 4th Region Champion Warren East spotted them a 2-0 lead after three, but couldn’t hold it and eventually lost and suddenly found themselves in the Loser’s Bracket and ended up playing a late “Staying Alive” game against another desperate team in Butler (Louisville). Suddenly, Central Hardin’s bats went cold at the wrong time and they lost 4-2. Still, it was much like their 2011 trip when they were 2-0 until running into eventually champion Allen-County Scottsville and then losing their next game in the Loser’s Bracket. The Lady Bruins will be back with plenty of talent, but they will not quite forgot their 2018 trip and how they allowed themselves to dream and next season they just might come true.
Game One-Ballard vs. Central Hardin: Against one of the best teams in the Louisville area, the Lady Bruins knew that they were in for a fight to start the State Tournament and locked in a tight pitching duel, both Shelby Kelly and Kaci Goedde were throwing bullets most of the game, but it was Central Hardin to struck first when Emily Bryant took a Kelly pitch deep in the bootm of the third for a 1-0 Lady Bruins lead. It took nearly six innings for the Bruins to break through on Goedde when they got their only run on a couple of scratch hits, but the Lady Bruins came right back in the bottom of that inning when they got a couple of two out hits, one off the glove of the Ballard second second baseman and a timely Eleecia Hager texas leager that dropped just beyond the outstretched glove of the in coming outfielder to plate two runs. Goedde was lights out after that and Central Hardin got their first state win in he first round in nearly six years.
Game Two-Clay County vs. Central Hardin: Coming into the the second day of state tournament play in the winners bracket, Central Hardin took on Clay County next and the Lady Bruin hitters made short work of the Clay County pitchers getting two runs in the first inning, one in the third, two more in the fourth and single runs in the fifth and sixth to finalize a 6-0 win. Goedde allowed only four hits and was magnificent in the clutch constantly keeping the opposing batters off balance the entire game. Bailey Richardson hit a two run shot to bring the Lady Bruin home run total up to two in two games. Central Hardin also took advantage of four Clay County errors and Emily Bryant scored two unearned runs as the Lady Bruins were way ahead of their opposition for the second straight game.
Game Three- Warren East vs. Central Hardin: Now with a 2-0 record and with a win, the Lady Bruins would be in the top three in the Winners Bracket with another win as they came out fired up against Region Four opponent Warren East and their pitcher Katie Gardner and came out strong to start the game with a couple of runs in innings two and three. Goedde was doing a great job keeping Warren East off balance until the fourth inning when they finally broke through and everything changed. Jeyda Bays took Goedde downtown with a player on base in the fourth inning to tie things at 2-all and then Olivia Price added to that with a solo home run in the fifth to allow Warren East to take a 7-2 lead in a five run fifth inning. After that Central Hardin was never the same. Oh Yes! They piled up seven hits, but were not able to break through again leaving nine runners on base. A familiar theme in the last two games.
Game Four – Butler vs. Central Hardin: Now in the Losers Bracket and playing for their lives, the Lady Bruins took on another desperate team in Butler (Louisville) and this time Eleecia Hager got he start after coming on in relief in the Warren East game. Hager was promptly met in the first when the Courtney Abbott scored a couple of runs with a double and after Angel Ashlock got one of the runs back with a triple scoring Bryant, Aylssa Brock took Kaci Goedde, who entered the game in the fourth inning deep for a home run to increase the lead to 3-1. Butler closed out their scoring with another run in the fifth and although Sadie Werner was in trouble in most innings only allowed one other run in the seventh as the Lady Bruins went down 4-2 closing out their state tournament dreams. Once again, Central Hardin hit the ball well, but left 12-runners on base.