The Matt Wright era officially opened last week when the Henry County softball team defeated Carroll County on Tuesday and Harrison County on Saturday in what looks to be a promising year.
Wright, who took over the program from Suzanne Cates, said the Ladycats did not play consistent enough in week one but he was pleased that they were able to come away with two wins. The Ladycats played well defensively but not offensively against Carroll, then reversed with poor play defensively and strong play offensively against Harrison four days later. Scheduled games against Jeffersontown and Gallatin County were canceled due to the wet field conditions.
“We had two very dissimilar games. But we were still able to win the games,” Wright said. “It shows that we can be a very good team if we put our entire game together.”
Against Carroll last Tuesday in the season opener for both teams, and a 31st District showdown that factors into post-season seeds, Henry went ahead early and held off Carroll for the 4-2 victory.
Jessica Booher started her junior season with 16 strikeouts, and was backed by strong field play. Henry did struggle at the plate though.
The Ladycats scored three quick runs to go ahead early. Midway through the game, two Carroll base runners got on off Henry miscues, and both scored when Carroll smacked a 2-RBI double. That was the only play Carroll scored any runs as Henry added one more late for the two-run win.
Wright pointed out the strong pitching from Booher, who he said shut down Carroll’s offense almost completely, and also said Carroll has a much improved team from previous years with no fielding errors.
Four days later, Henry was back at home taking on visiting Harrison County on Saturday afternoon. In a high scoring game, Henry came away with a slim 8-7 win. Henry scored all eight runs in the first two innings and held off Harrison in the later stages of the game.
In the bottom of the first inning, Ally Vaughn laid down a bunt with a player on third base to get Henry on the scoreboard. Then, during a big-hitting second inning, the Ladycats added seven more runs to go ahead 8-0.
Big hits came from Macie New, who hit a 3-RBI double with bases loaded then stole second base and scored on a pass ball, and Veronica Hornback, who hit a triple to help spark the Henry barrage.
“We continued to hit the ball for the rest of the game, but right at people,” said Wright, whose team struck out just once.
Meanwhile, it took Harrison a little longer to heat up but it managed to have a few multiple-run innings and added three runs in the top of the seventh to close the gap to just one.
“We knew Harrison could hit the ball, and they did,” Wright said. “We ended up with some fielding mistakes that cost us.”
The Ladycats, whose goals for 2010 include winning a fifth straight 31st District title and advancing far in the 8th Region tournament, travel to the Florida Beach Bash later this week at Fort Walton Beach.
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