By Bob Flynn
Register Sports Writer
Madison Southern’s Tara Bord threw a three-inning no-hitter to lead the Lady Eagles to a 15-0 rout of Berea Community in the opener of the 44th District Tournament Monday at Berea College.
Bord only faced 10 batters in the game, allowing three batters to reach base, two on walks and one, leadoff hitter Allie Maynard, on a dropped pop-up.
Bord did not walk a batter in the game and finished with two strikeouts.
Southern advances to the championship game and will face Madison Central at 5:30 p.m. today. The Lady Indians move into the title game with an 11-1 win Monday over Model Laboratory.
Central defeated Southern 10-0 in six innings earlier in the season, but Central coach Daniel Rogers said he knows the Lady Eagles have improved since then and the championship game will be a battle.
“We’re going to have to come out tomorrow and play better because I know Southern is after us. They want blood and they have really been playing good ball lately,” Rogers said. “But I think we will play better tomorrow, but we’re going to have to because Southern is tough.”
While Bord silenced the Lady Pirates bats, Southern got production from throughout its lineup, pounding out 11 hits off Berea starter Holly Musick and reliever Jenny Ingram.
Seven Lady Eagles had hits in the game with four — Bethany Mays, Jaycee Combs, Taylor Johnson and Amber Sparks — getting two hits each.
Southern jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead in the first inning on two-RBI singles by Combs and Johnson.
They then broke the game wide open sending 14 batters to the plate and scoring 10 runs in the second inning on five hits and aided by four Berea errors. The big blow of the inning was a three-run double to left by Combs.
“We made too many errors, but they also really hit the ball. That’s a good team over there,” Berea coach Rick Ingram said. “If we had made a couple of catches in that inning, maybe it would have been a little bit different, but that’s softball. We’re still young and we’ll come back next year stronger and more experienced.”
The Lady Eagles rounded out the scoring with a run in the bottom of the third inning.
Johnson singled, stole second and scored on a single by Kelly Freeman.
Musick took the loss for the Lady Pirates going 1/3 of an inning, giving up 4 runs on three hits, while walking two batters.
Ingram pitched 2 2/3 innings allowing 11 runs on eight hits. She walked three, struck out two and hit one batter.
Combs led the way for Southern with a single and double and five RBI. Johnson, Mays and Freeman finished with two singles and two RBI each, while Amber Sparks and Paige King had a single and two RBI each and Board had an RBI single.
“I thought we hit all the way through the lineup and first game of the district that’s a good sight to see,” Southern coach Brian Foley said. “But we still need to improve on some things before the game tomorrow. We need to work on some of our judgment on pitches and adjust to the speed of the pitch a little better.”
Central 11 Model 1
The Model Laboratory Lady Patriots came out swinging against defending district champion Madison Central.
Model scored a run in the top of the first inning to grab a quick lead, but the Lady Indians quickly rebounded to pull away for an 11-1 five-inning victory, setting up a matchup with Southern.
After allowing two hits and a run in the first inning, Central pitcher Mackenzie Wilder only gave up two more hits the rest of the way.
Wilder went the distance for the win, giving up four hits and two walks, while striking out five.
Gracie Weitkamp took the loss for Model, going five innings, allowing 11 runs on 13 hits, while giving up seven walks and striking out two.
Central got one run in the first, four in the second and one in the third before getting five runs on six hits in the fifth to round out the scoring.
Central coach Daniel Rogers gave Weitkamp credit for keeping his team off balance and keeping her team in the game.
“Gracie did a good job of mixing up her speeds and keeping us off balance early. But once we got into the game we adjusted to it better and we started playing some small ball that got us going,” Rogers said. “We were also aggressive on the base paths and put some pressure on their defense and I think that was the difference in the game.”
Model Coach Amy Kaylor said she was pleased with the effort her club gave a week after losing to Central 16-0 in three innings.
“They came out and played hard. I asked them to give me everything they had and they did,” Kaylor said. “I don’t think the score reflects the way we played. Central is a good team. They put pressure on us and that’s what good teams do. Hopefully one day we will get there. But this is a good game to end the season on. It’s something we can build on next year.”
Katie Grant led the way at the plate for the Lady Indians with two singles and two RBI, while Kirstin Spillman had a double and single and RBI, Emily Frakes had a double and two RBI and Jadelyn Rice had two singles.