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Chapman, 10th-inning rally lift Mustangs

By James D. Horne jhorne@paducahsun.com

OWENSBORO - "Good things come to those who wait," or maybe it's "Patience is a virtue." 

McCracken County could pick either axiom to describe the pitcher's duel between the Lady Mustangs' Jenny Chapman and Ashland Blazer's Megan Hensley and the stroke-for-stroke masterpiece each hurled for more than nine innings in a first-round game Thursday afternoon at the Worth/KHSAA Fast-Pitch Softball State Tournament at Jack C. Fisher Park.

It's just that Ashland Blazer needed Hensley to go 10 innings, because it was in the top of the 10th that McCracken County got the bats going. Thanks to a Bailey Vick lead-off double, a Jacqueline Roof RBI single, Rachel Ridolfi's two-run double and a Kalli Harris' three-run home run that procured the seven runs it needed to take an eventual 7-0 victory over the Kittens.

"You've got to get hits," said Vick, who went 2-for-5 with the run. "And when we get hits it gets really contagious for this team. We knew it had to start somewhere and it just happened to be me. When it started I knew we'd get everything we needed to get the win."

The top-ranked Lady Mustangs (36-5) move into today's winners' bracket second round and will play Anderson County at 9 this morning on the green field at Jack Fisher Park. Anderson County (28-8) got by Johnson Central 9-1 in its first-round game.

Audrey Dodd is expected to pitch for McCracken.

"Anderson County is going to be another good test for us," McCracken coach Tony Hayden said. "We don't play well at 9 in the morning. But the girls should be ready. We just have to get some rest."

Chapman was perplexing to Ashland Blazer (31-6). She allowed one hit and a walk, struck out 13, and faced 31 batters while tossing 122 pitches, 83 for strikes.

"I had a lot of pressure on me, because I didn't want them to score," said Chapman, who has made a verbal commitment to Louisiana Tech. "I knew if they did score that we'd come back. But still getting the cushion with the seven runs in the 10th inning was nice."

Chapman's performance thrilled her teammates.

"It feels pretty good to know your pitcher doesn't allow many hits, this time just one," said Roof, who went 2-for-3 with a run and the RBI. "It also helps she knows we can handle anything that's thrown at us."

And Hensley was throwing a gem until the top of the 10th; she had collected 16 strikeouts on six hits.

But that's when Vick put down her double and then came home for the game's first run on Roof's single and finally got the Lady Mustangs' big inning going. Roof scored after getting to second when Keely Barnes reached on a throwing error by catcher Sydney Campbell and stole third.

After an out, McCracken County loaded the bases when Hannah Ridolfi was walked and Madeline Wooten singled. Rachel Ridolfi stepped up and sent a double to left that rolled under the fence and scored Barnes and Hannah Ridolfi.

Harris then cleared the bases with her three-run home run.

"We've survived on that big inning quite a bit this year, especially in the fourth and fifth and just waiting for our speed to take over," Hayden said. "That's exactly what happened in the 10th when we got our nine hitter got on base and our top of the lineup started putting the ball in play."

Hensley ended by throwing 16 strikeouts on 187 pitches, including 136 that went for strikes. She faced 45 batters, walked two and allowed 10 hits.

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

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McCracken County 7 (36-5)

Player AB R H RBI BB SO PO A LOB

JACQUELINE ROOF ss....... 3 1 2 1 1 0 4 1 0

KEELY BARNES 3b.......... 5 0 1 0 0 2 0 5 3

KAYLLE UTHOFF ph........ 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

KELSEE HENSON rf......... 4 0 0 0 0 4 0 0 2

HANNAH RIDOLFI 1b........ 4 1 1 0 1 1 6 0 1

KARLIE HATTON pr........ 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

TORI HUMPHREY dp......... 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0

MADELINE WOOTEN dp...... 3 1 1 0 0 1 0 0 1

RACHEL RIDOLFI c......... 5 0 1 2 0 4 15 1 0

WILLOW ASPERY pr........ 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

KALLI HARRIS 2b.......... 5 1 2 3 0 1 3 1 1

LAUREN CARTWRIGHT pr.... 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

LEXIE BAER cf............ 4 0 0 0 0 1 2 0 0

TAYLOR POINDEXTER ph.... 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0

BAILEY VICK lf........... 5 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 0

JENNY CHAPMAN p.......... 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Totals................... 40 7 10 6 2 16 30 8 8

 

Ashland Blazer 0 (31-6)

Player AB R H RBI BB SO PO A LOB

SYDNEY WHITT cf.......... 4 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0

KATIE BALDOCK 2b......... 4 0 0 0 0 1 4 2 0

MCKENZIE VANOVER 1b...... 4 0 0 0 0 3 6 0 0

MEGAN HENSLEY p.......... 3 0 0 0 1 1 0 2 0

MEGAN GRIFFITH ss........ 3 0 0 0 0 2 1 0 0

HAYLEY KILBURN lf........ 3 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0

JORDAN MEADE rf.......... 3 0 0 0 0 2 1 0 1

CARLY CONLEY 3b.......... 3 0 0 0 0 2 0 4 0

SYDNEY CAMPBELL c........ 3 0 0 0 0 1 16 0 0

Totals................... 30 0 1 0 1 13 30 8 1

 ---------------------------------------------

Score by Innings R H E

McCracken County.... 000 000 000 7 - 7 10 0

Ashland Blazer...... 000 000 000 0 - 0 1 3

---------------------------------------------

E - CONLEY 2; CAMPBELL. LOB - McCracken Co 8; Ashland 1. 2B - BARNES; R

RIDOLFI; VICK; KILBURN. HR - HARRIS. HBP - ROOF. SH - HENSON; WOOTEN. SB -

ROOF; VICK.

 ---------------------------------------------

McCracken County IP H R ER BB SO AB BF NP

JENNY CHAPMAN....... 10.0 1 0 0 1 13 30 31 122

 ---------------------------------------------

Ashland Blazer IP H R ER BB SO AB BF NP

MEGAN HENSLEY....... 10.0 10 7 6 2 16 40 45 187

Win - CHAPMAN. Loss - HENSLEY. Save - None.

HBP - by HENSLEY (ROOF). Pitches/strikes: CHAPMAN 122/83; HENSLEY 187/136.

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