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McCracken shuts down Lady Cards

By James D. Horne jhorne@paducahsun.com

In what could be a preview of the KHSAA state championship softball game, top-ranked McCracken County was able to put enough runs on the board to dispatch No. 13 â “ and All A Classic Softball state champion â “ Livingston Central 4-0 Friday at the Lady Mustangs' diamond. After being held scoreless for just the second time this season after its 2-0 loss to Massac County at home on Tuesday, McCracken County (29-5), winners of 10 of its last 11 games, focused on putting the bat on the ball and moving runners around.

The team rankings come courtesy of the Kentucky Softball Coaches Association's weekly poll.

"We did not hit the ball well against Massac in our last game," said McCracken County center fielder Maddie Wooten, who went 1-for-3 with 3 RBIs. "So we wanted to come out tonight and keep the ball on the ground and not in the air like we did against Massac."

The Lady Mustangs scored two in the bottom of the second and added single runs in the bottom of the fourth and fifth innings.

Jenny Chapman picked up the win for McCracken County, throwing a three-hitter with eight strikeouts in facing four over the minimum.

Tiffany Padon took the loss for Livingston Central (28-8), which has won 19 of its last 21 games and was shut out for just the second time this season. She was charged with 12 hits and four earned runs against the one strikeout she rung up.

"They only put one crooked number up and got the single runs later," Livingston Central coach Stan Head said.

"We played well and this was a good high school softball game. Their pitching is really good and we just didn't square up as many balls as we're used to doing."

McCracken County put two runs on the board in the bottom of the second thanks to Rachel Ridolfi's run-scoring double and Wooten's RBI groundout to first for the inning's second out.

Wooten popped out to right for the first out in the bottom of the fourth and that allowed Kalli Harris, who led off the inning with a triple, to score from third and put the Lady Mustangs up 3-0.

Wooten then smacked a two-out single in the bottom of the fifth and Hannah Ridolfi came in from third for the game's final run.

"We were better at the plate today," McCracken County coach Tony Hayden said.

"But we still have some hitters who are struggling and you don't want that going into the end of the year.

"We had some others who came through and hit the ball well, but I'm not pleased with the way we're hitting overall. The way we are hitting we are not going to win a state championship and it might not get us out of the regional tournament. We've got to get our hitters back to hitting like we were a few weeks ago."

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Livingston Central 000 000 0 0 3 0

McCracken 020 110 x 4 12 0

LC: Ti. Padon and Lampley; MC: Chapman and R. Ridolfi.

WP: Chapman. LP: Padon

2B: LC - none. MC - Humphrey, R. Ridolfi (2). 3B: LC - Lampley. MC - Harris. HR: none. Top hitters: LC - Lampley 3-3. MC - Roof 2-3; H. Ridolfi 2-3, run; Humphrey 2-3, run; R.Ridolfi 3-3, run, RBI; Wooten 1-3, 3 RBIs.

Call James D. Horne, a Sun sports writer, at 270-575-8661 or follow on Twitter @psunsports.

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