Postseason high school baseball and softball in Kentucky is quite exciting. Teams play all year with dreams, hopes and aspirations to go along with the hard work, sweat and tears to try to make it to the state tournament. Unfortunately only 16 teams will make the journey to higher Whitaker Bank Ballpark in Lexington for baseball, or Jack C. Fisher Park in Owensboro for softball. Powell County’s teams made their run, but both teams came up a little short.
The Pirates baseball team had hoped to make a run toward their fourth region title last week. But despite a colossal first round game, their dreams ended in the semi-finals against the host Hazard Bulldogs.
Powell opened the 14th Region Tournament against the Breathitt County Bobcats on Memorial Day. The game started with both teams putting runs on the scoreboard, then they just turned on the afterburners. The Pirates bean scoring almost at will. By the time the game ended the score looked like a football score. Powell took the win, 23-13.
That set up a semi-final matchup with the Hazard Bulldogs. The Bulldogs were slated as one of the region’s favorites. The Bulldogs showed how those beliefs were warranted. Hazard scored five runs in the second inning and built up their lead. Meanwhile, Powell was held to only two hits. One hit was by Wyatt Clark and the other by Bryce Merion.
By the time the dust settled, Hazard took home a 10-0 victory. Hazard went on to beat Perry Central in the championship game. The Bulldogs will play Corbin this Thursday in the opening round of the state tournament.
Powell, under the direction of first year coach Frank Spencer, finished the year with an 18-14-1 record.
The Lady Pirates looked to be in a good position when the 14th Region Softball Tournament brackets were announced. But to make a run they would have to get past the Perry Central Lady Commodores in the first round Memorial Day game at Estill County.
Powell opened the game by putting two quick runs on the board in the first inning. But The Lady ‘Dores answered in their half of the first, by matching Powell’s two runs. The score stood that way until the bottom of the third as Perry added a run. They pushed another run across in the fifth to make it a 4-2 lead.
Powell, who has had some difficulty in keeping the bats going this season after grabbing an early lead, ran into the same problem again. Four of the first six innings saw Powell go three up and three down. The defense also had some issues, making six errors in the game. Those also proved to be costly.
Perry tacked on three runs in the sixth inning to take what seemed to be a commanding 7-2 lead. But Powell was not done. The Lady Pirates scored four runs in the top of the seventh, as Emily Branham, Olivia Nickell, Erika Howard and MaKayla Rucker each crossed the plate.
But the Lady Pirates ran out of steam. Despite an awesome comeback, the Lady Pirates fell short. Perry Central escaped with a 7-6 victory.
Powell was led by Rucker who was 3-for-4 with four RBI’s. Nickell was 2-for-4 and Haleigh Bauer was 2-for4 with an RBI.
Powell finished the season with a 15-14 record.