Lions edge Mercer 2-0 for title

May 28, 2004|MIKE MARSEE

BURGIN - The Garrard County girls had dominated the opposition in every district game this season, but it didn't bother them that they didn't do it Thursday.

Winning was enough for the Lions, who defeated Mercer County 2-0 to win the 44th District Tournament and claim their first district title since 2000 when the current seniors were eighth-graders.

"This is a big, overwhelming accomplishment for us because we've worked so hard as a team," said third baseman Brittany Lane, one of four Garrard seniors.

"Last year we were runner-up, and to have a district title feels good," added Tiffany Meadors, Garrard's senior pitcher.

Garrard had beaten every team in its district at least once last year before bowing in the district final, but the Lions made sure that didn't happen again.


They made their one scoring inning stand up thanks to strong pitching and defense that allowed them to shut out Mercer for the second straight meeting.

"Our girls made the plays when they had to," Garrard coach Jeff Meadors said.

No easy victory

While it was a shutout, it was no easy victory. Garrard (18-16) outscored its opponents 98-3 in seven previous games in its newly aligned district, which included a 9-2 win and a 9-0 win over Mercer, but this game was far different.

"They've improved a lot since the first time," Tiffany Meadors said. "But we stepped up and had confidence in ourselves."

Tiffany Meadors allowed four hits, one more than Mercer (6-12) had in the two prior games against Garrard combined.

But the Scotties did no damage, as only one runner made it as far as third base.

"We've got a good defense," Tiffany Meadors said. "They made the routine plays to keep us going."

"When Tiffany's on, we're behind her 100 percent," Lane said.

While Mercer couldn't manage any runs, coach Crystal McGinnis said she was happy with the way the Scotties played.

"We're very pleased," she said. "We held them to two runs, and we played solid defense.

"We didn't score, but we hit the ball. Give credit to their defense. I think if we'd gotten one on the board, regardless of what inning it was in, I think maybe we could've come out with a win."

The Lions acknowledged that Mercer was a much tougher opponent than in the previous games, the last of which was just about two weeks ago.

"I expected it to be a lot better game," Jeff Meadors said.

A groundout by Betsy Ball and a single by Jamie Speake drove in the two Garrard runs in the third inning after Brittany Gilbert and Abby Parsons opened the inning with a walk and a single, respectively, and advanced on a wild pitch.

Garrard strands 12 runners

Garrard had several other chances to score, but left the bases loaded twice and stranded 12 runners in all.

"We can't leave them on base like next week like we did today," Jeff Meadors said.

Both Garrard and Mercer will play in the 12th Region Tournament next week at Russell County.

"The main thing is we've got to stay focused," Jeff Meadors said.

"If we stay focused, I believe we can play with anybody in the region."

Parsons had two of the six hits Garrard got off Mercer's Michelle Wilham, who walked eight batters and struck out one.

"I'm pleased with Michelle's performance," McGinnis said. "She struggled a little bit, but she came back and did what she needed to do."

Marci Wilham had two hits for Mercer off Tiffany Meadors, who had one walk and six strikeouts.

All-Tournament Team

Erin Ashford, Mercer County; Taylor Bottoms, Burgin; Amanda Carey, Burgin; Brittany Gilbert, Garrard County; Brittany Lane, Garrard County; Mandy Long, Harrodsburg; Tiffany Meadors, Garrard County; Abby Parsons, Garrard County; Marci Wilham, Mercer County; Michelle Wilham, Mercer County; Laken Williams, Harrodsburg.

Central Kentucky News Articles