Representing Henry County High School in the annual East-West All-Star Series over the weekend at the University of Kentucky, senior-to-be Karie Powell and coach Suzanne Cates helped lead the West Juniors to a 1-2 record. They opened with a 2-0 win over the West Seniors on Saturday — the first time the West Juniors had beaten the West Seniors — then took a 5-0 loss to the East Seniors later on Saturday and a 3-2 loss to the East Juniors on Sunday.
Powell was the third player from Henry to play in the All-Star Series but the first to start the opening game when she played shortstop and batted in the middle of the lineup — Samantha Barmore played in 2004 and Brittni Crowe played in 2007. Cates was the second coach from Henry to participate on the sideline — Jon Kasten coached the West Juniors in 2007. Cates was also a player in the All-Star Series when she was named Ms. Softball in 2000 as Suzanne Witten, and was inducted into the Kentucky Prep Softball Hall of Fame in 2006. Cates coached alongside Lynn Dickey of Heath and Miello Distefano of Larue County.
“They approached me at the All ‘A’ state tournament and said they were trying to get more female coaches involved so asked if I was interested,” said Cates, who helped lead the Ladycats to a school-record 24 wins in the spring. “I thought it would be a great opportunity.”
Powell and Cates were selected to the All-Star Series by a Kentucky Softball Coaches Association committee following an impressive year. The Ladycats had an overall 24-12 record, won the 8th Region All “A” Classic, finished fourth at the All “A” state and won their fourth straight 31st District title. They ended their season with a 4-1 loss to Walton-Verona in the opening round of the 8th Region tournament.
The West teams were composed of players from regions 1-8, while the East teams were composed of regions 9-16. The squads practiced on Friday, played two seven-inning games on Saturday in their All-Star uniforms, and played one nine-inning game on Sunday in their high school uniforms.
In the West Juniors first game, against the West Seniors, Powell played the first three innings at shortstop and batted in the middle of the lineup. All players were in the batting rotation to form a 18-player lineup, while they were juggled on the field. In the first game, Powell batted once, drawing a two-out walk. The next batter grounded out to end the inning. The West Juniors scored once in the top of the first inning and again in the top of the fourth for the 2-0 win.
From the 8th Region, there were just five players. Shauna Gramig and Heleigh LeCompte from Shelby County played for the West Seniors, while Christina Harvey and Courtney Turpin from Anderson County and Powell played for the West Juniors. In the opening game, Gramig started at catcher and LeCompte started in the pitcher’s circle.
Following the first two games on Saturday, the Kentucky Softball Coaches Association recognized those players selected to the All-State First Team, Second Team and Honorable Mention. Henry freshman Ally Vaughn, who was named to the Class 2-A Second Team, was honored with a plaque. While softball is lumped into one class, schools were divided into three classes based on where they fall in the track and field alignment. Vaughn, Henry’s starting third baseman who also led the team at the plate, became the first player from Henry County to be selected All-State.
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