Archive for May, 2009

Looking ahead for Danville, Garrard

Now that they have won the 12th Region baseball and softball championships, Danville and Garrard County, respectively, can look ahead to their next games next week.

Danville is in the state baseball tournament bracket for the first time since 2006, and as was the case then, the Admirals must win a best-of-three semi-state series with Lexington Catholic to advance to the final rounds at Applebee’s Park in Lexington. (They didn’t do that last time, losing two games to none.)

This year’s series will be played at Henry Clay, with games scheduled for Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Those dates are mandated by the KHSAA, which changed the schedule from previous years when the semi-state series were scheduled for three consecutive days. The game times will be determined during a conference call with Henry Clay officials and coaches of the participating teams.

(Interesting note: This is the last year for the semi-state series, as the KHSAA decided to have all 16 regional winners advance to Applebee’s beginning in 2010.)

In softball, Garrard will make its second straight trip to Jack C. Fisher Park in Owensboro for the state tournament. The Lady Lions will open against 4th Region champion Allen County-Scottsville at 10 a.m. Friday. Win or lose, they’ll play again at 1:15 p.m. against either Franklin County or Estill County. (Click here for the complete bracket.)

If Garrard loses its first game, it could play up to three games Friday. Any other scenario means it would play no more than two. If the Lady Lions make it to Saturday, which they didn’t last year after going 1-2 on day one, they could play as many as six game.

A check of the statewide coaches’ polls finds Garrard ranked 22nd and Allen at No. 6 in softball. In baseball, Lexington Catholic is No. 9 while Danville is unranked.

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Softball gets soaked; baseball stays dry

As if to prove that a forecast of scattered thunderstorms means exactly that, the skies over the 12th Region baseball and softball tournaments were decidedly different Wednesday night.

The softball final between Garrard County and Pulaski County was rained out at West Jessamine and rescheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday. Foul weather delayed the rematch of last year’s regional final, in which Garrard won its first regional title with a 16-4 romp.

The baseball tournament at Pulaski County got in both semifinals, despite threatening skies at the start of the evening. Danville and Somerset advanced to the title game, which is also at 7 p.m. Thursday.

Danville defeated Southwestern 2-0 in eight innings in a compelling game that might have gone the other way if Southwestern pinch-runner Tyler Johnson hadn’t been called out for missing third base when he appeared to score the go-ahead run in the bottom of the sixth. Two errors helped the Admirals push across their two runs in the eighth.

Somerset trounced McCreary Central 13-2 despite being behind for most of the game. McCreary took a 2-0 lead in the first inning that stood up until the Briar Jumpers scored nine runs in the sixth, all with two outs.

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Regional baseball, softball fields set

My assignments at state tennis kept me from posting here in a more timely fashion, but I know some of you have been or will be checking in over the weekend in hopes of finding the pairings for the 12th Region baseball and softball tournaments, so here they are:

12th Region Baseball

At West Jessamine

Monday, May 25

First Round

Southwestern (20-10) vs. Rockcastle County (16-11), 11 a.m.

West Jessamine (25-9) vs. Danville (24-11), 1:30 p.m.

Mercer County (20-11) vs. McCreary Central (13-14), 4 p.m.

Somerset (21-5) vs. Boyle County (19-12), 6:30 p.m.

Tuesday, May 26

Semifinals

Southwestern-Rockcastle County winner vs. West Jessamine-Danville winner, 6 p.m.

Mercer County-McCreary Central winner vs. Somerset-Boyle County winner, 8:30 p.m.

Wednesday, May 27

Championship

Semifinal winners, 7 p.m.

(NOTE: The 12th Region champion will play the 11th Region champion in the best-of-three semi-state series June 3-5 at Henry Clay.

* * *

12th Region Softball

At West Jessamine

Monday, May 25

First Round

Southwestern (25-5) vs. East Jessamine (23-9), 11 a.m.

Garrard County (22-13) vs. Rockcastle County (10-19), 1 p.m.

West Jessamine (21-13) vs. Wayne County (13-14), 4 p.m.

Pulaski County (24-9) vs. Boyle County (16-18), 6 p.m.

Tuesday, May 26

Semifinals

Southwestern-East Jessamine winner vs. Garrard County-Rockcastle County winner, 6 p.m.

West Jessamine-Wayne County winner vs. Pulaski County-Boyle County winner, 8 p.m.

Wednesday, May 27

Championship

Semifinal winners, 7 p.m.

(NOTE: The 12th Region winner advances to the state tournament June 5-6 at Owensboro.)

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District baseball, softball tourneys begin

District tournament play in the stick-and-ball sports begins today around the 12th Region, and after a wet regular season we could use a few dry days to get these games in on schedule.

The winners and runners-up in each district advance to regional play next week at Pulaski County (baseball) and West Jessamine (softball), but first here’s a breakdown of the pairings for Advocate-area districts:

BASEBALL

45th District at Danville

Monday — Lincoln County vs. Boyle County, 5:30 p.m.; Garrard County vs. Danville, 8 p.m.

Tuesday — Championship, 6 p.m.

46th District at Mercer County

Monday — Burgin vs. West Jessamine, 6 p.m.

Tuesday — East Jessamine vs. Mercer County, 6 p.m.

Wednesday — Championship, 6 p.m.

47th District at Somerset

Monday — Casey County vs. Somerset, 5:30 p.m.; Rockcastle County vs. Pulaski County, 8 p.m.

Wednesday — Championship,  8 p.m.

SOFTBALL

45th District at Boyle County

Monday — Lincoln County vs. Garrard County, 5:30 p.m.; Danville vs. Boyle County, 7 p.m.

Tuesday — Championship, 6 or 7:30 p.m.

46th District at Mercer County

Monday — Burgin vs. West Jessamine, 6 p.m.; Mercer County vs. East Jessamine, 8 p.m.

Wednesday — Championship, 6 p.m.

47th District at Somerset

Tuesday — Casey County vs. Pulaski County, 5:30 p.m.; Rockcastle County vs. Somerset, 8 p.m.

Thursday — Championship, 7 p.m.

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Defending regional champ needs coach

One of the plum jobs in 12th Region basketball has opened with the resignation of West Jessamine coach Robert Hammonds, who led the Colts to their first regional title only a couple of months ago. WKYT-TV and WYMT-TV have reported that Hammonds has accepted the job at Letcher County Central.

Hammonds led West Jessamine to a 28-9 record this season, and the Colts got all the way to the semifinals of the Boys Sweet Sixteen. He’ll replace Raymond Justice, who was let go at Letcher after the Cougars went 22-8 and reached the 14th Region Tournament semifinals for the second straight year.

In case you missed it — and I certainly did — the only other opening so far in a 12th Region boys program was filed late last month when Pulaski County rehired Al Gover, who coached the Maroons from 1996-2001.

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Boys tennis title between Casey, Mercer

Either Casey County or Mercer County will win the team title at the boys 12th Region Tournament later today.

The two teams are tied with 11 points each, and no other team is within reach with only the singles and doubles championship matches left to be played this afternoon at Berea. Casey could score up to two more points, Mercer could score one more, and there’ll be a team playoff if the teams finish tied.

Here are the pairings for the finals:

  • Singles — No. 1 Kyle Jeffries (Casey County) vs. No. 2 Kyle Chadwick (Mercer County).
  • Doubles — No. 2 Brad Jeffries-Ryan Martin (Casey County) vs. No. 3 Ross Baeker-Blake Hobson (Danville)
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Should've seen this one coming

Of course, it rains here every day now, so today’s storms were nothing new. But even if we had been in the middle of a months-long drought, I could have predicted rain for today.

For one thing, this was supposed to be the opening night of the Boyle County Invitational softball tournament, perhaps the most reliable rain magnet on the local prep sports schedule.

They’ve played this tournament on the first weekend of the season, the last weekend of the season and a couple of points in between over the years, and it has almost always gotten rained on. (Except a couple of years ago. When it snowed.)

This was also the night of the Central Kentucky Conference track and field championships, traditionally the last major meet for most local teams before the regionals. And while the CKC meet doesn’t quite have the track record of the BCI when it comes to drawing rain, it has rained or threatened to rain on that event as often as not in the last 10 to 15 years.

It’s Boyle’s turn to host the CKC this year, and since the Boyle track is only a few hundred yards from the Millennium Park softball fields, that part of town was doomed to get soaked from the start.

This is also the opening day of regional play for area boys tennis teams. The boys and girls regionals are three-day, five-round tournaments played out over consecutive weekends for which rain can lead to all sorts of headaches.

First-round matches were scheduled for tonight, and roughly half of those are going on as scheduled. Play was moved from the usual venues in Berea, where there are roughly 18 to 20 courts available at Berea College and Madison Southern, to an indoor facillty at Richmond that has only four courts.

The 14 or so first-round singles matches are being played tonight, while the doubles matches were postponed. The plan for Saturday is to play three rounds of doubles and two rounds of singles — outdoors if possible, indoors if necessary — which would leave the final two rounds (semifinals and finals) in each bracket for Sunday, which is how the tournaments usually conclude.

The CKC track meet was postponed even before the storm blew through Friday afternoon, as athletic director Jim Spears said some of the field event areas (such as pole vault and long jump) were already too wet to use. The meet has been rescheduled for Monday.

I haven’t heard the word on what might happen at the BCI softball tourney. Those fields are as waterlogged as everything else, although at least one of them has an infield tarp. But if the rain doesn’t linger into Saturday, it’s a pretty good bet that Boyle’s coaches will try to revamp the pool-play schedule and play through the day and evening.

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Trying to get one more game in

It has been a challenge for local baseball teams to get in the six games they’re required to play against their district opponents for postseason seeding purposes, but the job is almost done.

Boyle County and Lincoln County have rearranged their schedules to make up a game today in Stanford. That’s weather permitting, of course, and it comes with the caveat that the game could be moved to Boyle (which has a full infield tarp) if need be. (Updated at 1:35 p.m.: The Boyle-Lincoln game will be played at Boyle if it is played at all today. Lincoln’s field remains too wet for play.)

Boyle can clinch the No. 1 seed for the 45th District Tournament with a win today. If the Rebels lost, they’ll be tied with Danville for first place in the district standings.

All of the other head-to-head matchups in the 45th, 46th and 47th districts have been played. Here are the district standings:

  • 45th District: Boyle County 4-1, Danville 4-2, Garrard County 3-3, Lincoln County 0-5. (District tournament at Danville.)
  • 46th District: West Jessamine 6-0, Mercer County 4-2, East Jessamine 2-4, Burgin 0-6. (Tournament at Mercer.)
  • 47th District: Somerset 5-1, Rockcastle County 4-2, Pulaski County 3-3, Casey County 0-6. (Tournament at Somerset.)
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A bumper crop of local tennis seeds

Almost three-quarters of the seeded singles and doubles entries in the upcoming 12th Region tournaments in Berea come from six Advocate-area schools.

Twenty-three of the 32 seeded entries are from Boyle County, Casey County, Danville, Garrard County, Lincoln County or Mercer County, including 10 of 16 in the boys singles and doubles brackets and 13 of 16 in the girls brackets.

(See list of seeded players below.)

There should be plenty of seeds from local schools every year, as roughly half of the region’s teams are from this area, but this is a banner year for local seeds.

On the boys side, the top four singles seeds and the top three doubles seeds are local, led by Kyle Jeffries of Casey County in singles and Koji Buterbaugh and Cody Nolin of Mercer County in doubles.

In the girls brackets, the top six singles seeds (and seven of the eight total seeds) are local, as are two of the top three seeds and six of the eight in doubles. The top seeds are CeCe Witten of Boyle County, the four-time defending regional singles champion, and Lee Lee Baxter and Lauren Yates of Mercer County.

There was talk of combining the boys and girls regionals into a single long weekend this year, but that idea was nixed at the coaches’ meeting Monday night in Stanford where the seedings and pairings were determined.

The tournaments will be played on consecutive weekends using the same schedule that has been in place for the past several years, with the boys tournament beginning Friday and the girls tournament beginning May 15. In each case, there will be one round of play beginning at 4 p.m. Friday, two rounds beginning at 9 a.m. Saturday and the final two rounds beginning at 2 p.m. Sunday. Most matches are at Berea College,
with some early-round matches at nearby Madison Southern.

12th Region Tournament Seeds

At Berea

BOYS

Friday-Sunday

Singles

1. Kyle Jeffries, Casey County; 2. Kyle Chadwick, Mercer County; 3. Colin Hart, Lincoln County; 4. David Theaker, Boyle County; 5. Zeeshan Asif, Somerset; 6. Florian Staudt, Casey County; 7. Caleb Lowndes, Southwestern; 8. Kerry Kingery, Russell County.

Doubles

1. Buterbaugh-Nolin, Mercer County; 2. B. Jeffries-Martin, Casey County; 3. Baeker-Hobson, Danville; 4. McWain-Polk, Somerset; 5. Johnson-Barrett, Garrard County; 6. Neal-Depretis, Wayne County; 7. Martin-Bivens, Somerset; 8. Heathman-Meek, Mercer County.

GIRLS

May 15-17

Singles

1. CeCe Witten, Boyle County; 2. Haley Hart, Lincoln County; 3. Casey Yates, Mercer County; 4. Rachel Ricker, Danville; 5. Sarah Browning, Garrard County; 6. Savanna Barnett, Mercer County; 7. Ines Stricker, Russell County; 8. Celeste Hurst, Boyle County.

Doubles

1. Baxter-Yates, Mercer County; 2. Clark-Eicher, Wayne County; 3. Polinedrio-Nelson, Danville; 4. Pitman-Burkett, Pulaski County; 5. Price-Curry, Casey County; 6. Napier-Scott, Garrard County; 7. Grant-Baer, Mercer County; 8. Skipper-Pemberton, Casey County.

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