The Franklin-Simpson Lady Cats’ softball season came to an end with a 12-8 loss in an intense battle with the Russellville Lady Panthers last Monday night in the 13th District Softball Tournament at Logan County High School.
“Got to give Russellville credit for coming out and hitting the ball well. It’s not the ending we wanted for our season but a lot of credit needs to be given to our girls. Never once did our girls back down. They kept fighting all the way until the end. It was kind of the way our year went.”
“We always have a tough battle with Franklin-Simpson and we were fortunate to get this one,” Lady Panthers’ head coach Ryan Davenport said. “We got off to a great start and every time Franklin-Simpson responded and cut it close, we came back with an answer. A’miyah (Collier) gave it all she had in the circle tonight and we made some key defensive plays, especially the double play in the 7th that ended their scoring chance.”
The Lady Panthers got an early lead in the top of the 1st as they got an RBI triple from Jaeda Poindexter, an RBI single from Chloe Penrod, and an RBI groundout from Reese Croslin giving them a 3-0 lead.
The Lady Cats chipped away at their deficit as Kloie Smith’s one-out single scored Jasmine Grover making the score 3-1.
Franklin-Simpson added another run in the bottom of the 3rd as with one out, Lilly Ferguson reached base on a fielding error. With two outs and Ferguson at second, Smith’s RBI single scored Ferguson, making it a 3-2 game.
Russellville responded in the top of the 4th with an RBI triple from Collier Then in the top of the 5th, Madison Penrod’s RBI single, a Lady Cats; fielding error scored two more runs and a RBI sacrifice fly by Akiah Vell made the score 8-2. The Lady Cats did not back down as they kept fighting back in the bottom of the 5th. Ferguson led off the inning with a single and advanced to third on two passed balls. Alloe Utley reached base with a walk She stole second and advanced to third on Smith’s RBI sacrifice fly that scored Ferguson. Utley scored on an RBI groundout by Hanna Arthur, making the score 8-4. Franklin-Simpson continued that sane fight in the bottom of the 6th, as with one out, Ava Holland reached base on a fielding error and advanced to third She would score on an RBI groundout by Grover. Then with two outs, back-to-back singles by Ferguson and Utley, and an intentional walk to Smith made the bases loaded. Ferguson scored on a passed ball but they could not add any more runs as they trailed 8-6.
The Lady Panthers added insurance runs in the top of the 7th as with one out, Croslin’s RBI groundout scored a run. Then, four straight hits with two outs with an RBI single from Bell and a two RBI double from Poindexter made the score 12-6.
The Lady Cats still had plenty of fight left in them in their final at-bats of the game. Kaitlyn Woodall led off with a single and Abbey Cook followed with a walk. Zori Stout hit a two RBI triple that scored Woodall and Cook making the score 12-8. Then Russellville turned a double play that ended Franklin-Simpson’s scoring chance and a game-ending strikeout saw their comeback come up short as they lost 12-8 in the opening round of the 13th District Softball Tournament. Lilly Ferguson, who led the team with three runs scored, and Kloie Smith, who led the team with three RBI, led the Lady Cats with two hits each.
“In all my 20 years plus of coaching, I have never been part of a team in all my years of coaching that we faced so much adversity with injuries,” Caudill said.
“We kept plugging away no matter who was in there. They had the attitude that they could win every game they played no matter who was playing and who they were playing. That type of mentality kept getting stronger throughout the year. The blessing of the whole thing is that this brought us all closer together and this should give us a boost heading into next season.”
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