By JAMES BROWN
Fresh off a rousing rally in the Fourth Region final, South Warren opened the KHSAA State Softball Tournament on Thursday with a head of steam. The Spartans parlayed it into an 8-3 opening-game win over Central Hardin. Then kept dramatic finishes in vogue with a 1-0, extra-inning victory against East Carter on Friday morning.
Shelby Nunn proved to be heroic circle. She allowed eight hits to East Carter, but gave up no runs and struck out eight batters. In the fourth Fourth Region Softball Championship last week, she nailed a single that drove in two runs and lifted South Warren to a 3-2 victory over Warren East. That hit wrote the ticket for the trip to Jack C. Fisher Park in Owensboro for the Kentucky High School State Tournament this week.
Friday morning’s dramatic victory came in the bottom of the first and only extra inning.
Nine hole hitter Katlyn Conley led off with a single. She stole second while Alexis Isable was at the plate, then moved to third on a ground out to second by Lauren Martin.
Nunn came to bat with two outs — much like the regional title game — but was walked in five pitches. Ashley White entered the game to run for Nunn, but never got the chance.
Conley stole home for the steal-off, 1-0 win.
The Spartans pulled off the win against one of the most recognized softball players in Kentucky. East Carter junior pitcher Montana Fouts has twice been named Kentucky Gatorade Softball Player of the Year. When the Alabama commit was nominated for this year’s award, she carried a 0.30 earned run average, according to a report by the Lexington Herald-Leader.
Fouts allowed only five hits and struck out 15 South Warren batters.
The 1-0 victory for SWHS earns it a 3 p.m. game against Louisville Male.
The Spartans opened the tournament Thursday against Region 5 champions Central Hardin. Nunn pitched the distance in that game as well. She allowed eight hit, one earned run, and struck out 12 Lady Bruins.
Central Hardin sent three pitchers to the circle — Isabella Rainey, Kaci Goedde and Baylee Hardeman. They combined to allow 11 hits and seven earned runs.
Isable and Abby Mills, running for Nunn, each scored two runs for South Warren. Madilyn Daugherty led with four hits and three RBIs. Martin had three hits.
Aubree Muse had two hits for the Lady Bruins and she scored two runs. Callie Sondergard also had a pair of hits.
Central Hardin dropped into the elimination bracket where it is played Collins at 11 a.m. Friday.
Information for this story is collected from game recaps posted at KHSAA.org.
By JAMES BROWN