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Anderson County simply wanted to make a statement last Tuesday.
Instead, the Lady Bearcats shouted their intentions of playing in the state high school softball tournament in two weeks.
Anderson pitcher Mia Aldridge fired her second consecutive no-hitter and the Lady Bearcats erupted for 10 runs in the bottom of the fourth inning to pound visiting Carroll County, 11-0, in a game called in the middle of the fifth due to the “mercy rule.”
“We wanted to send a message to the Eighth Region tonight,” Anderson coach Brent Aldridge said. “If they snuck up and beat us tonight, they would have some momentum. We wanted to have the momentum.”
An upstart program with its best team in years, Carroll stayed close as pitcher Sarah Hawkins nearly matched Mia Aldridge early. Hawkins limited Anderson's varsity to three hits through the first three innings but trailed 1-0.
Anderson's Corrin Robinson tripled, then came home on Bailey Curry's single in the first. As it turned out, it would be all the offense Anderson would need with Mia Aldridge dominating on the mound.
The sophomore right-hander tamed Carroll with a solid assortment of pitches. None of Carroll's batted balls came close to falling in for a hit.
“I didn't realize I had (the no-hitter) until after the game,” said Aldridge, who had silenced Rockcastle County's bats in her previous outing three days before.
Aldridge missed a perfect game when she walked Hawkins in the second inning and Kayla Williamson in the third. Both took 3-2 pitches just out of the strike zone. “They were a little low,” Mia Aldridge said.
Brent Aldridge, Mia's father, said, “I was impressed with her speed tonight. It was consistent. “She had a heck of a screwball and was backing them up at the plate.”
Anderson finally got to Hawkins in the fourth, sending 14 batters to the plate. Eight-hitter Autumn Beasley got the onslaught started with a two-run single while Robinson plated three runs with a double.
For the evening, five Anderson batters delivered two hits while Robinson and Beasley both drove in three runs.
“Autumn has been hitting the ball well all year long,” Brent Aldridge said. “She sees the ball real well and keeps batting around .400.”
Male 4, Anderson Co. 0
Male senior Jessica Wireman experienced a dream Senior Day when she threw her own no-hitter against Anderson Saturday in Louisville.
Wireman struck out 14 Lady Bearcats as the 10th-ranked Bulldogs defeated Anderson for the second time this season.
Anderson junior Kasey Swails took the pitching circle, giving up two earned runs. Male ended the regular season at 24-10.
Anderson Co. 8, Bishop Roncalli 0
Anderson County's Corrin Robinson went 3-for-4 with a triple and three runs batted in to lead the Lady Bearcats past Bishop Roncalli of Indianapolis in the second game of a triangle at Male High School Saturday.
Sammy Rogers joined the hit parade with a perfect 3-for-3 day at the plate while Aldridge finally gave up a hit – just one – in 5.2 innings of work. Gracie Inabnitt came on to finish the game out in relief.
Anderson finished the regular season at 23-8 while Roncalli, which also lost to Male in the triangle, fell to 14-9.