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The oldest truism in baseball or softball is that good pitching will beat good hitting.
It did not change Saturday when Ballard's Brittany Mockbee silenced Anderson County's previously potent bats in a 4-0 win over Anderson in the championship game of the Lady Bruin Invitational Tournament.
Mockbee, considered one of the top pitchers in Kentucky, struck out 13 and limited the Lady Bearcats to one hit, a single by Emily Ethington.
Ballard scored twice in the first inning and never looked back to win its own tournament, played at Ballard and Fern Creek high schools in the Louisville area.
Still, Anderson proved its lofty early-season ranking is warranted.
The Lady Bearcats scored 33 runs in the 5 tournament games leading up to the final with Courtney Turpin hitting her second varsity home run and Lauren Brown going deep for the first time in a varsity uniform.
The tournament reminded both Anderson and Shelby County that if they don't already know each other well enough, they will by the end of the 2008 season.
The teams split a pair of games in the tournament, with Shelby winning a pool play game but Anderson reversing the outcome in the semifinals less than 12 hours later. The contests were the first of what could potentially be eight (or even more) games between the 30th District rivals this season.
Anderson won the semifinal game of the tournament, whipping Shelby 7-0 as Brown's two-run blast broke things open following Turpin's solo shot in the third inning.
Miranda Drury, who went 2-for-3, got things going with a run-scoring single in the first inning.
Turpin got the win, giving up 2 hits in 4 innings. Brown got the save, pitching a scoreless fifth.
The game was called due to the expiration of time.
Shelby took the Saturday morning pool play game, eking out a 1-0 victory. The game, played at Fern Creek, was called after 6 innings when the game timer ran out.
Shelby scored the game's only run when second baseman Dee Dee Davis tripled home pinch runner Christina Gramig in the bottom of the fifth inning. Davis, whose leadoff single was the only other hit the Rockets could muster off Anderson pitcher Courtney Turpin, sent a drive into the gap in left center with two outs.
Anderson had more than its share of chances. The Lady Bearcats reached Shelby's Haleigh LeCompte for five hits - three going for extra bases - and had four batters reach on Shelby errors.
Anderson stranded 8 base runners, five in scoring position. The Lady Bearcats failed to score in the fifth with pinch runner K.K. Fitzpatrick at third and one out. They also left the bases loaded in the sixth. Miranda Drury had doubled, then Emily Bucklew reached on an error and stole second but after intentionally walking Lauren Brown, LeCompte retired the last two Anderson batters.
The win was costly for Shelby, however, when LeCompte was hit by a pitch on her right (throwing) hand and taken to a Louisville urgent treatment center. LeCompte was to undergo further evaluation Monday for a possible broken wrist.
In between, the Lady Bearcats pounded Bishop Brossart 8-0 and defeated Sacred Heart 3-1 to advance to the semi-finals.
Emily Bucklew provided the big stick against Bishop Brossart, driving in a career high five runs, including three with a first inning single. Bucklew was perfect in three at-bats while Caitlyn Royalty and Drury both went 2-for-2, each with a walk.
Brown and Kelsey New combined to limit the northern Kentucky school to one hit and struck out eight batters.
Turpin and Brown combined to shut down Sacred Heart Academy of Louisville on five hits while Royalty tripled in the third inning to ignite the Anderson attack.
Sophomore Karrah Bottoms also tripled, her first varsity extra base hit, while Brown and Bailey Oliver both were productive at the plate, going 2-for-3.
Five Lady Bearcats had multiple hit games as Anderson County routed Fern Creek 15-1 in Friday's tournament opener.
The Lady Bearcats wasted no time in taking control, scoring three runs in the top of the first, then, after a two-run second, exploding for eight runs in the third inning to effectively seal the deal.
Turpin had one of the finest offensive outings in the history of the Anderson program, going 4-for-4 at the plate. Bucklew rapped three hits and Emily Ethington, Drury and Brown all stroked two hits.