It wasn’t exactly what the Henry County Ladycats wanted, but their three loses at the Capital City Classic over the weekend wasn’t as bad as the loss column might indicate.
Henry took a 3-1 loss to Scott County Friday, then turned around on Saturday and took a 3-2 loss to Assumption and 3-2 loss to Franklin. Assumption and Franklin are ranked just outside the top-25 in the latest Kentucky Softball Coaches Association Poll, while Scott is ranked fourth.
“Of course we wanted to go down there and do better than 0-3, so we were disappointed,” Henry coach Jon Kasten said after the two-day tournament, held at Lake View Park in Frankfort.
The Ladycats, who brought a seven-game winning streak into the Capital Classic, dropped to 9-10 on the season. But they did see some bright spots over the weekend in Allison Vaughn and Kaitlyn Foree. Vaughn provided a weekend full of hits, while Foree got on base nine times out of 10 plate appearances and had one of her best two-day stretches in the pitcher’s circle. Kasten was especially pleased with Foree, who bounced back from a sprained-thumb injury better than expected.
“Foree had the best weekend that I’ve seen her play in the six years I’ve been coaching her,” Kasten said of the senior. “She played good defensively, pitched great and played very well at the plate.”
In what Kasten calls his team’s best game of the season — despite the loss — Henry opened the Classic Friday night with a 3-1 defeat to Scott. The Cardinals scored two runs in the first inning and one in the third to take a 3-0 lead, but were held in check for the rest of the game.
Meanwhile, Henry scored its lone run during the third inning. Ashley Buck drew a walk and Krista DeBurger tried to sacrifice her over, but Buck was out at second and DeBurger was safe on first. Vaughn’s base hit moved DeBurger to second base and Foree’s hit scored her. That was the only run Henry managed during the seven innings.
Vaughn finished with two hits, while Foree had two hits, the team’s lone RBI and a walk.
Henry made the trip back to Frankfort Saturday, opening the day with a 3-2 loss to Assumption. Henry scored in the first inning, Assumption scored in the third and the two teams were tied, 1-1, after six innings. Due to the time limit, the two teams used the International Tie-Breaker Rule to start the seventh, which puts a base runner on second base with no outs to start each bat.
In the seventh, Assumption loaded the bases with no outs, but couldn’t get anyone home. Henry, in position to earn the win with DeBurger on second base, also loaded the bases in its bat, and couldn’t get any players home either.
In the eighth inning, Assumption managed to squeeze in two runs while Henry managed just one to give Assumption the 3-2 win. With Heidi Smith on second base, Karie Powell moved her to third and Buck drove her in for the Ladycats eighth-inning run. But Powell and Buck were left stranded and the Cats took the one-run loss.
Henry left bases loaded to end three different innings — third, fifth and seventh — which led to the loss.
The Ladycats closed out the Classic with a 3-1 loss to Franklin. It was the only game of the three that the Cats didn’t play well, Kasten said.
“I don’t know it we were upset that we lost to Assumption or what, but we didn’t play well at all,” he said. “Three of their runs were unearned with our mistakes.”
Henry started the game with a 1-0 lead after the first inning. Buck got on base, was moved to second base and eventually scored from a Vaughn hit. Franklin, playing on the field next to their high school, held Henry from reaching home plate again, scored three runs and came away with the victory.
“We just weren’t able to get it done,” Kasten said afterwards.
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