Jenna Carmody had five RBIs, including a two-run home run in the fifth inning to lead Daniel Boone to a 7-2 victory over Jefferson County in Monday night’s Region 1-AAA softball quarterfinal.
With the victory, the homestanding Lady ‘Blazers (36-6) advanced to Wednesday’s Region 1 championship game at Seymour, winners over Dobyns-Bennett on Monday night. More importantly, Boone earned a berth in Friday’s sectional round.
“I didn’t know what to expect to start the year out. We have a lot of younger kids and I’m excited for them,” Daniel Boone head coach Rick Wagner said. “They’ve worked hard all year. We hit the ball and when we hit it like that, we’re going to score some runs.”
Leading the way was Carmody, who finished 2-for-3, including a two-run double in the first inning to go along with her sixth home run of the season.
“I just got in there and she was throwing everything outside,” said the senior left fielder. “It was pretty much what I needed to see, just to drive the ball opposite. Then, the home run was right over the plate, right down the middle. You have to take that when you get it.”
McKenzi Ferguson added another stellar effort in the circle. She struck out 10 batters, while giving up just four hits and two walks. Pitching with the lead most of the night made her night easier.
“My rise was working well tonight and that helped me a lot,” Ferugson said. “But, we got an early lead and that takes a lot of pressure off the pitcher. You don’t feel like work as hard as you do if you don’t have any score.”
Haley Wagner’s RBI single and a two-run double by Carmody gave the Lady ‘Blazers a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning.
The Lady Patriots (23-16) closed the margin to 3-2 in the top of the third. Shelly Winstead scored off an error and Rachel Wright follow with a single to drive in Summer Hayes.
However, the Lady ‘Blazers answered in the bottom of the third. Ferguson hit a shot that hit the top of the fence in left center field before bouncing back in play for a double to score Hannah Montoya. Carmody added a sacrifice fly and Boone held a 5-2 advantage before her two-run shot in the fifth provided the final score.
“It’s never easy to dig out of a hole, especially against a team like Boone, one through nine a solid hitting team,” Jefferson County coach Rebecca Massaro said. “Falling behind 3-0 is never easy, but we got back in it 3-2. When we let them go back up, that was just too much to overcome.”
Overall, the Lady ‘Blazers outhit Jefferson County 11-4 as Ferguson and Allie Littleton each finished 2-for-3 at the plate. Through the postseason, the second half of the lineup has been particularly productive for the Lady ‘Blazers as noted by their head coach.
“When you have people like Kayla (Conkin), Meredith (Good), Littleton and Jenna .... Jenna’s just been unbelievable all year,” Wagner said. “She takes what they give her. She’s not been hitting the ball opposite field a lot this year, but lately they been throwing away and she’s been taking advantage of it.”