Henry County's first home game of the season started with question marks and ended with a lopsided finish.
The Ladycats, coming off a 24-17 record last spring and losing their first two games this season, wasted no time in putting away Carroll County last Monday night, and stretched their advantage to 14-0 by the time the teams shook hands after the game. The win left the Cats at 1-2 overall, 1-0 in district play, and in the driver's seat for their third straight 31st District title.
Carroll's top pitcher threw just two pitches when she had to leave the game due to back spasms, which might have made the results a bit skewed with her departure.
"We didn't get a good gauge on them," Henry coach Jon Kasten said of this year's Carroll team, because their top pitcher wasn't in the circle. "We did get some good looks at the plate though. I thought we watched the ball better, ran the bases decent and took advantage of their mistakes, walks and errors. We looked really good around the bases."
With Carroll's secondary pitcher throwing, Henry was walked 14 times during the four innings and finished with seven hits. Veronica Hornback smacked two doubles to lead the way, while Ashley Buck, Allison Vaughn, Miranda Hornback, Krista DeBurger and Jessica Booher finished with one hit each. The Ladycats scored one run in the first inning, four runs in the third and nine in a big fourth.
Besides their solid play at the plate, Henry got a big lift from Booher, who threw a no-hitter, struck out 10 batters and walked just one. Kaitlyn Foree, who has been the number one pitcher the previous three years, sprained her right thumb the game before and was moved to second base to give her throwing hand time to heal. The injury put Booher in the starting spot for just the second time, and she overpowered the opposition.
"They just couldn't catch up to her speed," Kasten said of Booher. "Her location wasn't as good as I would have liked, but for her to step up and play that well I was extremely pleased."
Foree was not in the batting rotation either, but is expected to be back in the pitcher's circle and at the plate this weekend when Henry travels to the Sports Warehouse Classic at Owensboro Catholic High School.
Franklin 5, Henry 2: Henry County's softball team out-hit Franklin County last Tuesday night - nine hits to eight - but it wasn't enough as Franklin came away with a 5-2 win over the visiting Ladycats.
In a game Jon Kasten thinks his team could have won, the head coach was not pleased with his team's play, which dropped the Cats to 1-3 on the season.
"I thought we played poor this game," Kasten said. "We made many, many mistakes. Base running mistakes were a huge issue this game - a couple of times we got out on line-drive hits, a couple of times we were out for not being on the bag, and we didn't take advantage of passed balls. I just don't think we looked that good."
The Ladycats did finish with a season-high nine hits though, led by a pair from Ashley Buck, Veronica Hornback and Allison Vaughn. Henry scored one run in the fifth inning and its other in the sixth. During the fifth, Buck led off with a hit, was sacrificed to second base by Jessica Booher and was scored on Vaughn's hit. And during the sixth, Hornback got on base from a fielder's choice, was moved around from a Karie Powell hit and eventually scored on an error from Buck's hit.
Meanwhile, Franklin scored one run in the second inning, two runs in the third, one in the fifth and one in the sixth for the three-run win.
"Right now, it's very, very early and we have a long, long season ahead of us," Kasten said. "We're getting better, we are improving, but we aren't there yet."
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