Ryle ends Lady Bearcat state title dream

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By John Herndon

OWENSBORO – Ryle, from the greater Cincinnati area, scored in the top of the 11th inning to defeat Anderson County 2-1 in the state high school softball tournament Saturday afternoon. The loss ends Anderson's state championship dream.

Anderson had taken a quick 1-0 lead when leadoff hitter Caitlyn Royalty was hit by a pitch, then stole second and third before scoring on a Ryle error in the first inning.

Ryle answered with an unearned run in the third, then scored the game winner when Alex Griggs doubled down the left field line, driving in the winning run.

"I think I am taking this one better than any other loss," Anderson coach Brian Glass said. "I know how hard our kids played and we were right there with them. We played extremely well to make such a showing in the state tournament."

Anderson was one of the final six teams in contention for the state championship. The Lady Bearcats finish the season at 31-15, a school record for season victories.

Ryle moves on to play Owensboro Catholic. Greenwood and North Laurel will play in the winner's bracket final.

For a complete review of the state softball and baseball tournaments, including many photos and statistics, see the June 11 edition of The Anderson News.

Anderson County 5, Central Hardin 3

Anderson County built a quick lead in the first three innings, then held off a Central Hardin comeback to take a 5-3 decision in Saturday's first game at the state softball tournament.

Anderson will play Ryle, which features Oklahoma signee Kirsten Allen, who owns a 67 mile per hour fastball. Ryle lost to North Laurel 5-0. Check back for more updates on the Lady Cats in the state tourney.

Lady Cats to play Central Hardin

Anderson County is set to play Fifth Region champion Central Hardin in the fourth round of the state high school fast-pitch softball tournament at Owensboro's Jack Fisher Park.

The Lady Bearcats are now 30-14 and are one of eight teams left with a chance at a state championship. Anderson has not played Central Hardin, 26-14, this year, but the schools have played several times in recent years with every game being close.

With a win against Central Hardin, the Lady Bearcats will set a school record for wins in a season by any Anderson County athletic team.

Anderson pitcher Courtney Turpin threw shutouts at George Rogers Clark and Garrard County Friday while Emily Ethington had a big day at the plate. Caitlyn Royalty also had a nice day, scoring the winning run against Garrard County and having a run-scoring hit against Clark.

The Anderson defense was air-tight against Garrard, with Kritty Morrow robbing the Lady Lions of a pair of hits and Ethington playing flawlessly at short.

If Anderson beats Central Hardin, the Lady Bearcats will play the loser of Ryle and North Laurel at 10:30 a.m., Central time.

Other games set are Owensboro Catholic vs. Greenwood and Reidland vs. Christian County.

Check back for more updates.

Anderson slips by Garrard

Caitlyn Royalty scored on a wild pitch with two out in the bottom of the sixth inning to send Anderson County past Garrard County in a 1-0 thriller at the state fast-pitch softball tournament Friday evening at Owensboro’s Jack Fisher Park.

The Lady Bearcats are now one of eight teams left with a chance at winning the state championship. Anderson, now 30-14, will play Central Hardin (26-14) at 9 a.m. Central time Saturday.

“This is great,” said Anderson coach Brian Glass. “Our girls have worked as hard as anyone in the state and it is paying off.”

Royalty reached on a one-out single to center, then went to second on Courtney Turpin’s ground out. Anderson got a huge break when Garrard committed the only error of the game, allowing Emily Ethington to reach and Royalty move to third to set up the game winning dash for home.

Miranda Drury was at the plate when Royalty scored.

Anderson could muster only three hits off Garrard pitcher Jessica Speake, but Turpin held the Lady Lions to just two safeties.

“Turpin was amazing,” Glass said. “She kept them off balance and our defense behind her was great.”

Left-fielder Kritty Morrow made a spectacular diving catch to rob Garrard of a possible extra base hit and the Anderson infield was air-tight as Anderson was not charged with an error.

Anderson rebounded from an embarrassing 15-0 loss against Greenwood earlier in the day. “He told us we were going to have to step up,” Turpin said of the speech Glass delivered following the loss.

The Lady Bearcats did just that. “This is great. We feel we can compete with anyone,” Royalty said.

Anderson’s game with Central Hardin is the first of a possible six games if the Lady Bearcats make a run at the title. Check back for updates as they happen.

Greenwood 15, Anderson County 0 (3 innings)

Defending state champion Greenwood sent 17 batters to the plate in a 13-run third inning to demolish Anderson County 15-0 in the second round of the state softball tournament at Owensboro's Fisher Park Friday afternoon. The game ended after three innings because of the “mercy rule.”

Nothing went right for the Lady Bearcats in the game as they committed four errors and did not threaten to score against Greenwood pitcher Rachel Riley, who has given up just four earned runs all season long.

Anderson mustered just two hits, singles from Courtney Turpin and Tiffany Davenport.

Anderson County 6, George Rogers Clark 0

Anderson County erupted for three runs in the bottom of the first, then put the game away with another three-run uprising in the fifth to whip George Rogers Clark 6-0 in the first round of the state high school fast-pitch softball tournament Friday morning at Owensboro.

Anderson pitcher Courtney Turpin did not have her best stuff, according to the Anderson coaching staff, but she still struck out nine Cardinals and allowed just three hits.

Turpin and Emily Ethington both had two hits for the Lady Bearcats. Ethington got the Lady Bearcats on the scoreboard with a single in the first, then gave Anderson an insurmountable 6-0 lead with another hit in the fifth.

Kritty Morrow smacked a two-run single in the first for the Lady Cats as well. "Morrow's hit was huge," said Glass. "That made it 3-0 and that is a big lead out of the first inning."

Turpin gave up a pair of first inning hits, then survived a scare in the fourth when Ethington’s relay throw to Tiffany Davenport nailed Clark’s Kelsey Mitchell at the plate.

It was Clark’s only serious scoring threat.