Behind outstanding pitching from their two freshman pitchers, the Cougar softball team won the 12th District Championship last Tuesday with a 3-0 shutout of host Edmonson County in Brownsville.
Lauren Decker started for the Cougars and pitched the first two innings, allowing just two hits and striking out one. Kara Decker pitched the final five innings and held the LadyCats hitless until Paige Carnes led off the sixth inning with a single. She finished the game allowing just three hits and a walk, while striking out five.
Trailing 3-0 as they came to bat in the bottom of the seventh, the LadyCats got back-to-back, one-out singles from Caitlin Simon and McKenna Wood, and a walk to pinch-hitter Josie Thomas to load the bases. But Decker struck out pinch-hitter Jhonna Basil and induced pinch-hitter Carson Logsdon to ground out to shortstop Kaylan Shull to end the game.
The Cougars produced the only run they would need in the second inning. Designated player Abbey Gibson led off the inning with a single to right, then stole second base. With one out, Lauren Decker walked and was replaced on the bases by Maddie Duvall.
Grace White struck out for the second out of the inning before Megan England hit a sharp ground ball to second for what should have been the final out of the inning. But second-baseman Brandi Lindsey was unable to field the ball and Gibson came around to score. England and Duvall advanced to second and third on the play, but LadyCat starter and loser Paige Carnes got Shull to ground out to end the inning.
Grayson County got some insurance with a pair of runs in the third inning. Kara Decker led off with a single and moved to third when Alana Mudd singled to right. Mudd stole second base before Gibson struck out for the second out. But Corbin Klineline roped the first pitch she saw from Carnes for a single into left that plated both base runners to make it 3-0.
The Cougars threatened one more time in the sixth, when Klineline singled and stole second and third bases, but Lauren Decker popped out and Carnes struck out White to end that threat.
Lauren Decker retired the last three batters she faced in the second inning, and Kara Decker retired the first eight she faced, making 11 straight batters retired, before the LadyCats got another base-runner on a two-out error in the fifth inning.
Following the game 12th District awards were presented. Named to the All-Academic Team were: Kaylan Shull, from Grayson County, Brandi Lindsey, from Edmonson County, Amy Rogers, from Butler County, and Lauren Beyke, from Trinity.
The 12th District Regular Season Team consisted of Lynsie Clark, Amy Rogers, and Kassie Phelps, from Butler County, Abby Booker, Liza Howard and Alex Hamilton, from Trinity, Paige Carnes, Madison Rich and Rebecca Massey, from Edmonson County, and Kaylan Shull, Kara Decker and Megan England, from Grayson County.
Named to the All-Tournament Team were: Liza Howard, from Trinity, Natoshia White, from Butler County, Caitlin Simon and Paige Carnes, from Edmonson County, and Kara Decker, Corbin Klineline and Alana Mudd, from Grayson County.