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As of press time, the Marion County 11-12-year-old Little League softball all-stars were undefeated at the state tournament in Prestonsburg. Their first victory in pool play came over powerhouse Louisville Valley Sports. Valley Sports finished fifth in the Little League Softball World Series just a few years ago.
The team played tournament host Prestonsburg on Tuesday night and South London on Wednesday night. Results were unknown as games happened after press time.
Marion County 3, Louisville Valley Sports 2
Ashley Walls pitched six innings in a pitchers' dual. She struck out eight batters, walked three and gave up five hits.
Marion County went up 1-0 in the third when Abby Miles batted in Lauren Farmer. Farmer led off the inning with a single.
Valley Sports would battle back to tie it 1-1 at the top of fifth. Marion County would reclaim the lead in the bottom of the fifth after Abby Miles scored on a throwing error by the Valley Sports short stop.
Valley Sports wasn't finished yet, as they tied it 2-2 with a two out single to the right side.
In the bottom of sixth, Ashley Walls led off with a single. Marion County eventually loaded up the bases with two outs. Valley Sports sealed their own fate when they walked Taylor Wade and brought Ashley Walls in to score the winning run.
Marion County 15, Paintsville 0
Marion County cruised to victory in their second day of pool play. Paintsville's first two days of play were not pleasant, losing 17-3 to South London and 15-0 to Marion County.
McKenzie Reynolds pitched four innings for Marion County. She walked two batters and struck out three. She gave up two hits.
Marion County went up 1-0 in first when Rebekah Taylor hit a RBI single. Marion County kept the pressure on by pouring on five more in the second inning.
The all-stars run was catapulted by an inside the park grand slam by Macy McFall.
The downpour kept coming as the all-stars poured on six more runs in the third on several walks and errors by Paintsville. Laura Jo Spalding had an RBI double and Alyssa Farmer had a RBI single during the scoring frenzy.
Marion County scored three more runs in the fourth on a two run triple by Macy McFall, who drove in six runs on the day.
The All-Stars still had two games left in pool play but have proven their worth against teams such as South Hardin, who won state last year, and Valley Sports, who are consistently good.
If Marion County finishes pool play in the top four, they will advance to the semi finals on Friday at 6 p.m. or 8 p.m. If they advance and win they will play in the finals on Saturday at 1 p.m.