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Girls district tourney a two-team race

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By Todd Martin

The 30th District Softball Tournament is shaping up much like it has in the past several years, with a spotlight on the title game that will likely pit the Lady Rockets against Anderson County.

The two teams were by far the top teams in the district, and likely the top two teams in the region. While Anderson and Shelby split four games during the regular season, the Lady Rockets won the one that mattered most, the district seeding game on April 22 at SCHS.

The two teams played twice on March 29 at the Ballard Invitational, with Shelby taking the first game 1-0 and Anderson winning the second one 7-0.

The seeding game went to Shelby County 10-9 in a see-saw affair, and the final meeting, at Anderson County, was won by the Lady Bearcats 2-1 in eight innings.

However, those four were just a lead-in to the potentially two more times the teams could meet in the postseason.

As the teams prepare to start the tournament Monday at Spencer County, SCHS head coach Kelly Cable said it looks as though Anderson is the slight favorite, despite the Lady Rockets being the No. 1 seed.

"Anderson is ranked higher than us in the state polls, we split during the regular season, so I'd have to say it's either a toss-up or they have a little edge based on what you can see in the polls," she said.

But before the two teams can meet there is work to be done.

The Lady Rockets will face Eminence in the tournament opener Monday at 6 p.m., and Anderson County will play host Spencer County following that game at approximately 7:30 p.m.

Even though the Lady Rockets drilled Eminence 16-0 in three innings on April 1, Cable said her team is solely focused on that first game.

"We're going in focused on what we have to do, and that's beat Eminence," Cable said. "We want to play to the best of our abilities like we would against any team."

Anderson beat Spencer County 13-1 at home on April 30, and because of that Cable said she expects the Lady Bearcats to win again on Monday, setting the stage if the Lady Rockets also take care of business.

"(Anderson County) is in the back of our minds, but we can't worry about them," she said. "We just have to go out on Monday and play our game, and then see what happens Tuesday (in the championship game)."

Cable said winning the district is important, but with Anderson and Shelby being the top two teams in the region it may not mean much.

"We're going to be opposite of Anderson County (in the region tournament) no matter what happens in the district, and I think we're the two best teams in the region so it's not that big," she said. "But from a mental aspect it would build our confidence even higher if we go in as a winner. We want to win every game we play, so that's our goal."