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The Marion County 11-12-year-old Little League softball All-Stars made a solid run at winning the state tournament but wound up falling short of the title.
The team defeated Prestonsburg, 14-4, July 21 and defeated South London, 5-4, July 22. The All-Stars went 4-0 in pool play and clinched the number one seed going into elimination play.
Their win set them up with a semifinal showdown with Ashland American Friday in Prestonsburg. A win would have sent them to the championship game.
But Ashland proved to be too much for the team, as one bad inning would send the girls packing. A six-run inning finished off the all-stars and put the only blemish their record. Marion County fell 6-0.
Ashland fell 5-1 to South London in the finals July 25. Marion County previously defeated the newly crowned champs in pool play.
This group of all-stars made it to the state semi finals for the second year in a row, falling last year in a round robin format. They finished in the top four in the state last season.
Marion County 5, South London 4
In the July 22 game against South London, Ashley Walls pitched and gave up three hits, struck out 11 and walked 12 in a 5-4 Marion County win.
Marion County went ahead 2-0 in the bottom of the second. Hailey Browning and Taylor Wade scored on consecutive errors by the South London shortstop.
They scored one run in the top of the third to make the score 2-1 as a result of five walks by Walls in that inning.
Marion County added two more runs in the bottom of the third. Rebekah Taylor and Hailey Browning each walked and came around to score on wild pitches. This put Marion County up 4-1.
The score remained 4-1 until the top of the sixth inning, when South London tied the score at 4-4 on two hits, three walks and two errors. South London had the bases loaded with two outs and score tied at 4-4, but Walls was able to get the next hitter to ground out to McKenzie Reynolds to end the inning.
In the bottom of the sixth, Taylor Wade walked with one out. She advanced to second on an Abby Miles' infield single. The runners moved to second and third respectively as a result of a Reynolds ground out. Wade scored the winning run on a wild pitch by the South London pitcher.
Walls gave up three hits to South London. Marion County's only hits were by Abby Miles and Ashley Walls.
Marion County 14, Prestonsburg 4
Marion County went up 4-0 in the bottom on the first. Abby Miles' double, Ashley Walls' two-run homer and Hailey Browning's RBI triple fueled the four runs.
Prestonsburg scored two runs in the top of the second as a result of three walks and a Marion County error.
Marion County went up 6-2 in the bottom of the second on a wild pitch and an Ashley Walls' sacrifice fly.
Marion County extended the lead to 9-2 in the bottom of the third on a number of walks, errors, a Taylor Wade single and an Ashley Walls RBI single.
Prestonsburg scored three runs in the top of the fourth to cut the lead to 9-4 as a result of three walks and two Marion County errors. Marion County went up 11-4 in the bottom of the fourth on a two run McKenzie Reynolds RBI single.
Marion County closed out the game in the bottom of the fifth by scoring three runs keyed by an Ashley Walls single, a Rebekah Taylor RBI triple and an Abby Miles RBI single.
For the game, McKenzie Reynolds pitched five innings striking out four, walking seven and giving up two hits. Walls was cranking the bat for Marion County going 3-3 at the plate with four RBIs. Abby Miles and Taylor Wade added two hits respectively.