Lady Rockets face loaded field at Owensboro tourney

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By Todd Martin

The Shelby County High School softball team will begin play in the very difficult Owensboro Catholic Sports Warehouse Classic today.

The girls are guaranteed five games in the tournament, but making the championship will be difficult.

"There's great competition throughout the whole tournament," SCHS head coach Kelly Cable said. "There's a lot of ranked teams, and our pool is just loaded."

The girls will face Lafayette tonight at 7 p.m., and then turn right around and play powerful Henderson County at 8:30 p.m. On Saturday, the Lady Rockets will face another strong team in Mercy at noon.

The tournament has a weird set-up, with pool play basically just guaranteeing three games and not forming a seeded tournament afterward. The Lady Rockets' next two games are already scheduled: the girls will face Bryan Station at 2 p.m. and will play either host Owensboro Catholic or Henry County at 3:30 p.m.

After that game, the tournament will play out in tournament fashion with the championship game at 9:30 p.m.

Cable said the allure of the Owensboro Catholic tournament is big.

"I'm very excited, it's a really prestigious tournament," she said. "We've been trying to get in it for quite some time, but it hasn't worked with our schedule, so I'm very excited to finally get to compete in a tournament of this magnitude."

However, the Lady Rockets will continue to play without ace pitcher Haleigh LeCompte. Cable said LeCompte will get more X-rays taken on her injured wrist Friday, but she won't be available this weekend.

"We'll find out more on Friday, but for now we're not going to have her," the coach said. "It just gives us a little longer to see what Kristina (Gramig) and Desiree Kremer can do. We'll have to have them step up and pitch well, and we'll have to play good defense behind them. We also have to hit the ball better than we have been, but I know we're capable of outscoring anybody."

Owensboro Catholic, a major player on the state level, should be favored to win the tournament as the host, but there will be several teams with a shot to knock them off.

"Of course, Owensboro Catholic is always going to be a favorite, but Daviess County, Muhlenberg North, Oldham County, Mercy and Henderson County are all very, very good," Cable said. "And Anderson County is very talented, and they're in the pool with Owensboro. Christian County is also always good. There's going to be some great games this weekend."