By JAMES COOK
Times Sports Writer
If you had said the Lady Pirates would be at the 14th Region Tournament after the first half of the season, some would have thought it was wishful thinking. After all, the team was 2-16 at that point. But then Powell began to pull things together.
They upset Lee County in the first round of the district tournament. They played Estill tough on the championship game. That earned them a trip to the regional tourney in Breathitt County.
Despite a valiant comeback attempt, Powell could not overcome an early 7-0 deficit. The Lady Pirates fell in the first round to Letcher Central, 15-8 on Memorial Day.
The Cougars opened the contest pushing three runs across in the first inning and adding four more in the second to lead 7-0. Powell finally was able to get on the scoreboard in the top of the third, making it a 7-2 game.
Letcher took advantage of some timely hits and unfortunate Lady Pirate errors to explode for five runs n the bottom of the third. Suddenly Powell was trailing 12-2 and looking at being mercy ruled.
But the new and improved Lady Pirates were not about to go down quietly. In the top of the fourth Powell scored four much needed runs to make it a 12-6 lead, but Letcher added three more to widen the gap to 15-6.
The Lady Pirates still had some fight left in them. The team added a run in their half of the sixth and the seventh. But it was just a little too late. Powell fell 15-8.
Powell was led by McKayla Rucker who ended her six year high school career with a 3-for-4 performance adding to her record of most hits in the program’s history, driving in two more runs to add to her second place RBI totals (172) and picking up a double.
Senior Emily Branham also went 3-for-4, picking up a double and an RBI. Branham also had a stolen base to end up with a season high 25 thefts on 28 attempts. Kelly Bloom went 2-for-4 with an RBI, while Ashley King was also 2-for-4 with a double. Eighth grader Cloe Grater, in her first regional tournament game, went 2-for-4 as well.
Powell picked up 12 hits in the game, which was a vast improvement from the nearly anemic performances the team had at the plate for half of the season. The Lady Pirates did however commit six costly errors in the game, a problem the plagued the squad all season.
Powell ended their 2019 campaign with an overall record of 9-28.
Letcher Central fell to Wolfe County in the semi-finals, as Estill fell to Perry Central. Wolfe then grabbed their first 14th Region Championship, after a three day rain delay. Wolfe dominated Perry, 12-1. The Lady Wolves then fell to Clay County 3-0 in the sectional.