By JAMES COOK
The Powell County Lady Pirates entered last week’s 56th District Softball Tournament held at Owsley County coming off an upswing in their play. The entire season has been a roller coaster ride, with big wins and unexplainable losses. But tournament play is when it really matters.
The Lady Pirates held the number two seed again and had to play Lee County in last Monday’s first round game. The game started with a surprise as Lee County hit a home run in the first inning to take the early lead. Powell answered with two quick runs in the bottom of the second, only to see the Lady Kats push another run across to tie the game.
The slow start seems to be a norm for Powell when they play Lee, but so is the mid to late game offensive explosion the Lady Pirates use to beat Lee.
This game was no different.
Powell exploded to score two runs in the third, three in the fourth and tacked on five more in the fifth enroute to the 12-2 victory. The win put Powell in the championship game and punched their ticket to the 14th Region Tournament as well.
Powell was led by Alyssa Pennington who went 2-for-3 in the game at the plate. Olivia Nickell, who has been on a roll as of late, went 2-for-4 scoring twice, as did Haleigh Bauer. Makayla Rucker was 1-for-2, slapping a double to left and picking up two RBI’s.
Powell pitcher, Lexie Brewer, pitched five inning, giving up five hits and striking out seven Lady Kats.
That set up the championship game against district rival Estill County. The Powell-Estill matchup has been the normal conclusion to the district play for the past 10 years. Estill has claimed each title in those match ups.
The Lady Engineers struck first as the first there hitters reached base on base hits and all three scored before Powell could stop the offensive strike. It was all Estill after that.
Powell did manage to push across a run in the fifth inning, but the Lady Pirates were held to just three hits on the evening. Bauer, Pennington and Lindsey Willoughby picked up those hits. Estill won going away, 9-1.
Bauer, Pennington, Nickell and Rucker each were named to the All-Tournament Team. It was Pennington’s second award and Rucker’s third.
Powell’s record after the tournament stood at 20-16. The Lady Pirates were slated to play Leslie County in the 14th Region Tournament set to begin on Memorial Day. The region is hosted by Hazard.