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LAWRENCEBURG – The Collins softball team came up just short in its quest for a second district title.
Host Anderson County outlasted the Titans, 8-6, in the 30th District Tournament final on a sometimes rainy Thursday night.
The Bearcats built an early, 7-2 lead, then held off Collins’ comeback in a matchup between the past two district winners (Anderson won last year, the Titans in 2011).
Second-seeded Collins matched the top-seeded Bearcats hit-for-hit (both tallied 10), but couldn’t match them in runs. The Titans also had some costly errors on the base paths as they stranded 10 and saw a pair of runners caught stealing.
“We hit with them, we fielded with them, and we pitched with them. It came down to baserunning,” said Collins Coach Suzanne Cates, whose team lost to Gallatin County in the first round of the 8th Region Tournament, which begins Monday at Anderson. “They [the players] did everything they were supposed to do, it just came down to some unfortunate base-running mistakes and some untimely calls.”
After the game was delayed an hour and a half because of damp field conditions (courtesy of some afternoon rain), Anderson County, which beat Collins twice during the regular season (10-4 on April 15 and 8-0 on May 9), took the early lead with two runs in the bottom of the first inning off Titans starter Lauren Shepherd.
Collins cut the Bearcats lead in half in the second, but the Titans could’ve scored more.
Sydney Cloyd led off with a single before eighth-grader Hannah Renfro was hit by an Allyson Moore pitch and Janette Hynes reached on an infield single to load the bases with no outs.
Mia Aldridge, a freshman, then replaced Moore on the mound, and struck out the first batter she faced, Danaria Lewis, before walking Lindsey Ketcham to score Cloyd. Aldridge got out of the inning, though, by subsequently striking out Janelle Hynes and Shepherd.
The Titans tied the score in the top of the third when Bailey Rankin was issued a leadoff walk, moved to third on Shelbi Poehlein’s single up the middle and scored on an errant throw by Anderson catcher Bailey Curry, who was trying to catch Poehlein stealing second.
Anderson answered in a big way, with a 5-run third. Back-to-back doubles by Anna Marie Hyatt and Corrin Robinson made it 5-2 before Robinson was first ruled out, then safe at home (after the home plate umpire asked for assistance from his colleague at third) to give the Bearcats a 6-2 advantage (despite the protests of Cates).
The Titans’ rally began in the top of the fourth, when they scored runs on Janelle Hynes’s RBI double and Rankin’s RBI single, and continued with two more runs in the top of the sixth inning, when a light sprinkle became a steady rain. Rankin drove in a run with a single to shallow center before Poehlein brought in the second with a sharp single up the middle.
The Bearcats got some breathing room in the bottom of the inning – while the rain was at its heaviest – when Shepherd walked in a run, and the Titans had one last chance in the top of the seventh.
Renfro began the inning with a single up the middle but was forced out at second on Janette Hynes’ grounder. Lewis walked, but Ketcham hit into another fielder’s choice. With runners on first and third, the game ended when Janelle Hynes popped out in front of home plate.
Rankin led Collins at the plate, going 3-for-3 with a pair of RBIs and two runs scored. Poehlein and Renfro added two hits apiece.
ANDERSON COUNTY 8, COLLINS 6
Collins 011 202 0 – 6 10 1
Anderson County 205 001 X – 8 10 3
Lauren Shepherd and Janelle Hynes. Allyson Moore, Mia Aldridge and Bailey
Curry. W – Aldridge. L – Shepherd. 2B – Hynes (CHS), Anna Marie Hyatt
(AC), Corrin Robinson (AC). Records – Collins 19-19, Anderson County 23-9.
All-tournament team: MacKenzie Keown, Emily Lykins (Spencer County);
Keaton Jesse, Ari Jones (Shelby County); Shelbi Poehlein, Hannah Renfro,
Bailey Rankin (Collins); and Corrin Robinson, Kaci Currens, Bailey Curry,
Mia Aldridge (Anderson County).