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Lady Hawks win first round of Region Tournament

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Nathaniel Bryan, Landmark News Service

BARDSTOWN – With his team having already played, and crushed, host Nelson County once this year, LaRue County coach Aaron Howell didn’t want the Lady Hawks overlooking the Lady Cards when the teams hooked back up Monday evening in the 5th Region Softball Tournament’s late quarterfinal at Mike Lusk Field.

The surging Lady Hawks finished with nine hits and scored at least three runs in each of the first three innings as they cruised past the 19th District runner-ups, 12-2 in five innings.

“Last year we got beat in the first round and we didn’t want that to happen again,” said LaRue County junior leadoff hitter Peyton Gardner, who scored three times and went 1-for-1 with three walks to reach base in all four plate appearances.

The Lady Hawks play at 8 p.m. Tuesday in the late semifinal with the ninth-ranked Central Hardin Lady Bruins who dispatched of 20th District runner-up Marion County, 2-0 in Monday’s third quarterfinal. (Look for results in next week’s paper or online at www.laruecountyherald.com.) Central Hardin moved to 16-0 against region foes this year and one of the wins was an 8-5 win over the Lady Hawks.

“We’ve been hitting the ball well and I don’t want to jinx us or anything, but our offense has come a long way,” said LaRue County junior winning pitcher Brigitte Skaggs, who doubled, singled and reached base on error in three plate appearances. “Now I just hope we can keep it up.”

Gardner and Skaggs weren’t the only Lady Hawks to keep the offense afloat.

Junior Courtney Skaggs cleaned up in the four hole by going 2-for-2 with a triple, three RBIs and three runs scored. Sophomore Trishtian Cruse reached base all three times and drove in one and freshman Delany Eastridge reached base all three times, all by different fashion – hit by pitch, error and walk.

After Nelson County scored a run in the top of the first, LaRue County responded with three runs on two hits, two passed balls, a walk, an error and a sacrifice in the bottom of the inning to take the lead for good. They added four runs in the second – scoring on three straight plate appearances – and tacked on five runs in the third with every run coming on five consecutive at-bats.