Ballard softball’s Friday evening state quarterfinal sport didn’t end till just about 1 a.m. Saturday morning due to a two-hour rain extend for one of the vital different matchups.
Then, at the Bruins’ trip again to Lexington Saturday afternoon, the group’s bus abruptly didn’t need to pass greater than 30 miles in keeping with hour at the interstate.
“It was kind of crazy,” Ballard pitcher Brooke Gray mentioned. “Our assistant coach came up to us on the way. He was like ‘Just want to let you guys know, we’re not going to get there until about 4:30. We’re just having trouble.’”
The Bruins didn’t if truth be told step at the box till after 4:40 p.m. — simply 20 mins till the scheduled first pitch — leaving little time to heat up and not more time to take into accounts their contest towards South Warren on the University of Kentucky’s John Cropp Stadium.
“As soon as the bus hit the brakes, we all sprinted out and, honestly, I feel like it helped some of the girls on the team,” Gray mentioned. “I didn’t have time to be nervous with how quick everything was going. Yesterday, I could feel my nerves because we had two hours here.
“As soon as we got off the bus, we had something to do, so you couldn’t feel our nerves, and we kind of just came out on fire. It was great.”
Ballard jumped to a 6-0 lead within the best of the primary inning and Gray pitched a shutout because the Bruins defeated South Warren 11-0 within the day’s 2nd semifinals sport of the Clark’s Pump-N-Shop Softball State Tournament introduced through UK HealthCare.
It used to be Ballard’s 3rd consecutive shutout within the state match with Gray within the circle and 3rd postseason sport during which the Bruins have scored 10 runs or extra.
“This whole tournament, we wanted to show everybody that we’re not just a pitching and defensive team. We’re a hitting team too, and we’ve done it,” Ballard Coach Alan Jones mentioned. “To get off of a bus and get told you have five minutes and you better be ready, and we score six runs on a great team like that says a lot about us.”
Ballards’ first 4 batters reached safely with a leadoff unmarried through Emory Donaldson, a double through Mikayla Milby and two-run unmarried through Macy McCoy getting the Bruins off to a raucous 2-0 get started. Run-scoring singles through Lilly Koch and Rylee Carter sandwiched and blunder that permit Eden Jessie achieve base and some other run ranking for a 6-0 lead.
“As soon as we got our first person on base I was like ‘This is going to be a good day,’” Gray mentioned. “Tournament play has really gotten our bats going crazy and it’s super exciting for the whole team.”
Ballard tagged on two extra runs within the 6th inning and some other 3 within the 7th inning. Donaldson, a junior UK devote, boasted probably the most spectacular stat line with 3 hits, two RBI and 3 runs scored. McCoy knocked in 3 runs on a success, Koch had a success, a run and two RBI.
Gray were given her thirtieth win of the season through scattering six hits, strolling two and hanging out 12.
“She’s trying to prove to the world that she’s a big time pitcher. And she is,” Jones mentioned of his junior ace. “There’s nobody better.”
Ranked No. 1 in the coaches’ ballot on the finish of the common season, undefeated Ballard is now 38-0 and in the hunt for the varsity’s first softball state championship in six state match appearances.
The Bruins had been runner-up to Owensboro Catholic in 2005 and runner-up to Allen County-Scottsville in 2011. This is their 2nd directly look and inner most run since successful 3 video games within the loser’s bracket in 2018 when the development had a double removing structure.
“We’ve been here twice, and we’ve been the runner up twice,” Jones mentioned. “We’re gonna come and get this thing.”
Ballard faces Lexington Catholic at 3 p.m. Sunday for the identify. The groups met each and every opposite direction again on March 28 in Louisville, a 6-4 win for the Bruins. Only 4 different groups have scored 4 or extra runs on Ballard this season.
“This team is tough. We know we’ve got a great team we’re playing tomorrow in Lexington Catholic,” Jones mentioned. “It’s going to be a great game. I mean, it’s the two best teams left.”