Lady Knights opens district play with a pair of victories

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By Jessica Veatch and Josh Veatch

The Marion County Lady Knights softball team opened district play by  hosting Adair County April 8 and visiting Taylor County April 9. Marion County won both contests, to improve to 9-5 overall.
“We had an excellent start to district play beginning 2-0,” Coach Todd Spalding said. “We have a big week ahead of us with two more district games and then Washington County. If we can sweep the district games this week we will be in an excellent position to win our second straight district championship.”

Marion County 5, Taylor County 1
The Lady Knights defeated the Lady Cardinals 5-1, winning their second district game of the week. Going into the fourth inning, the game was tied 1-1, but the Lady Knights produced three runs in the fourth and added one more in the seventh to secure the win.
The Lady Knights had 10 hits as a team, with Lauren Farmer, Ashley Walls and Kenlee Stout contributing two hits each. Walls had a double in the game.Stout had two doubles and Colleen Rakes had one triple.
Ashley Walls picked up the win for Marion County, facing 25 batters and giving up three hits and one walk. Walls struck out four Taylor County batters.
“Maybe our best performance of the season,” Spalding said. “Ashley only allowed four base runners. We made several outstanding plays on defense. Offensively, we hit the ball very well and did not strike out for the first time this season. Lauren Farmer, Rebekah Taylor, Kenlee Stout and Ashley Walls all had big games.”

Marion Co.  010 300 1 – 5 10 0
Taylor Co.    100 000 0 – 1 3 4

The Marion County Lady Knights junior varsity softball lost to Taylor County, 4-2, on April 9. Cassidy Logsdon led the offense with three hits. Haley Mattingly was the losing pitcher, facing 18 batters and giving up four hits and two walks while striking out two batters.

Marion County 4, Adair County 3
The Marion County Lady Knights softball team hosted Adair County April 8 at Talley Field. After falling behind 3-0, the Lady Knights used some timely hitting to tie the game 3-3 in the bottom of the sixth inning. In the bottom of the ninth inning, Abby Miles came to the plate with two outs and hit a walk-off double to score the winning run for a 4-3 win.
As a team, Marion County had eight hits, with Kylie Benningfield leading the offense with two hits. Taylor Wade, Lauren Farmer, Abby Miles, Colleen Rakes, Rebekah Taylor and McKenzie Reynolds each added one hit.
Ashley Walls was the winning pitcher for Marion County, facing 35 batters and giving up 10 hits and no walks. Walls also had seven strikeouts in the game.
“I felt we were somewhat mentally and physically drained from our Clarksville trip,” Spalding said. “We started very slowly and were lucky to win. Rebekah Taylor had a huge hit for us to tie the game in the sixth. Abby Miles then had a big hit to win the game in the ninth. We were a little sloppy on defense and Ashley was not her best but the mark of a great pitcher is being able to help your team win when you are not your best.”

Adair Co.      200 001 000- 3 10 2
Marion Co.   000 003 001- 4 8 2

The junior varsity softball team also played Adair County, losing 8-5. The team had nine hits, with Cassidy Logsdon, Kendall Benningfield and McKenzie Reynolds each chipping in two hits, while Rebekah Taylor, Lexi Maupin and Olivia Gaddie added one hit each. Kenlee Stout and Haley Mattingly shared pitching duties for Marion County, with Stout getting the loss. Stout pitched to 12 batters, gave up two hits and seven walks, and struck out one batter. Mattingly faced 17 batters, gave up three hits and no walks, and struck out seven batters.
“We did some positive things this week,” Spalding said. “Cassidy Logsdon, Kendall Benningfield and McKenzie Reynolds hit the ball well. Our fifth grader, Haley Mattingly, pitched both games and did an unbelievable job. Haley is going to be the Ashley Walls of her generation. She works very hard, has excellent technique and is receptive to coaching. Whoever coaches this program in years to come will be fortunate to have her on the mound.”
The Lady Knights were in action Monday and Tuesday at Talley Field, playing district games against Campbellsville and Taylor County. Tomorrow Marion County will play Washington County on the road and Danville on the road Friday night.