LOUISVILLE -- The Cougar softball team ended its regular season with three games played at the University of Louisville's shining Ulmer Stadium Friday night and Saturday afternoon.
On Friday night, the Cougars fought off the cold long enough to beat Assumption 2-0. Saturday afternoon they dispatched Shelby County 9-2 in the first game, then beat fourth-ranked North Laurel 4-0 as All-State pitcher Michelle Critchelow just missed throwing a perfect game.
Grayson County wasted little time taking control of this game which was called after six innings because of the time limit. The Cougars sent 10 batters to the plate and put up six runs on the board against the Lady Rockets' Haleigh LeCompte.
With one out, Desiree Waterman walked, and reached second on a wild pitch. Beth Glasscock lined a double to the fence in left field to drive in Waterman, then was replaced on the bases by Allison Alvey.
Alvey came home with the second run as Critchelow hit the gap in right-center for a triple. Alyssa Blessitt ran for Critchelow and stayed there as Alicia Strickland beat out an infield hit. Lee Ann Wood reached on an error to load the bases before Jenna Cantway popped out to the catcher for the second out of the inning. Amy Satterfield followed with a single to right that drove in two runs.
Wood and Satterfield worked a double steal to put runners at second and third before Wood scored on a wild pitch and Satterfield moved to third. Jordan Clemons walked, stole second, and when the throw from the catcher went into center field, Satterfield scored with the sixth run of the inning.
That was all the Cougars needed as Critchelow struck out eight in five innings of work. She should have had a shutout, but with JV players at most positions in the third inning, a pair of errors after two were out allowed two runs to score.
Critchelow walked one and allowed just four hits. Beth Schultz entered the game in the fifth and pitched two scoreless innings, walking one and allowing no hits.
The Cougars added a single run in the third when Cantway singled with one out, was sacrificed to second, then scored on a single by Clemons.
Grayson County got their last two runs in the fifth after two were out. Cindy Langley reached on an error, then went to second on a hit by Waterman. Glasscock singled to drive in Langley, with Waterman reaching third and Glasscock second on the throw to the plate. Waterman later came in on a wild pitch to close out the scoring.
Critchelow was on top of her game against the Jaguars as she retired the first 18 batters she faced. In the top of the seventh, shortstop Ali Ray hit a grounder up the middle which Langley reached at second base, but could not field cleanly. The error took away the perfect game from Critchelow, but she retired the next three batters, the final batter on her ninth strikeout to save the no-hitter.
At the plate, though they did not have a banner game against freshman hurler Abby Sears, the Cougar batters did enough to get the win.
Langley walked, stole second, then went to third on a passed ball before Waterman walked behind her. Glasscock then drove Langley home with a single to right.
Critchelow followed with a slow roller to first, which first-baseman Jennifer Gross fielded and threw to the plate, trying unsuccessfully to get Waterman. Alicia Strickland grounded back to Sears, who forced Glasscock at third, but Wood reached on an error to drive in the third run of the inning.
That was all the Cougars could manage until the sixth. Strickland beat out an infield single and stole second. Two outs later, she scored on a single by Satterfield.