Marshall County secures some hardware
The Marshall County all-stars jumped out to an early 3-0 first inning lead over Prairie Village, KY in an all-important winner's bracket contest on Monday night and then held on for a 4-1 win, securing at least a third place finish at the 12U Babe Ruth World Series in Alachua, FL.
"Once again, our pitching was absolutely outstanding and our defense was unbelievable," said Marshall County manager Danny Hollingsworth. "I have told people for a long time that you win with defense and that is why we practice it so hard."
Halle Chapman started in the circle for Marshall County and pitched four solid innings of two-hit ball to earn her first win of the tournament.
Chapman gave up a lone unearned run while striking out two and walking one Kentucky batter before Leah Hollingsworth came on to earn the save, giving up just one hit and a base on balls in her two innings of relief.
MC leadoff hitter Jordan Yelensky set the table in the bottom of the first, working a 3-2 walk.
Yelensky stole second base and went to third on a Hollingsworth base hit up the middle.
Consecutive passed balls scored Yelensky and sent Hollingsworth to third.
Samantha King followed with a base on balls and trotted to second on a no-throw.
Prairie Village hurler Annabelle Ramirez recorded a strikeout before an error and another passed ball made it a 3-0 ballgame.
Chapman gave up a lone hit to Kaylee Stewart in the second before sending the Bluegrass state girls back to the field.
Ramirez set down MC 1-2-3 in the bottom of the inning before her team gave her a run in the third when Hannah Burckhardt worked a one-out walk, stole second, went to third on a ground ball and scored on a wild pitch that went to the screen.
The game went to the top of the fifth where Chapman began to tire, walking Macie Hollis to lead off the inning.
MC manager Danny Hollingsworth made the change to Leah Hollingsworth, who induced a pop-up to shortstop for the first out and got out of the inning on a sparkling 1-6-3 double play.
Marshall County rallied with two down in the bottom of the frame as Hollingsworth, King, and Blair Richards banged consecutive base hits to make it 4-1 contest.
Abigail Shipley managed a one-out hit off Hollingsworth in the sixth, but a running catch in left field by Aliyah Holder and a line drive snag by Haley Hartley at first base ended the game and sent Marshall County (5-1) to the top of the tournament bracket.
With the win, Marshall County earned a match-up versus Lodi, CA, who beat Pitt County, NC 2-1 in the other top-seed winner's bracket contest.
"This is why we took this opportunity to come to the World Series," said Hollingsworth. "If anybody back home doesn't think this is the real deal, they need to be here. This as good as it gets and we are fixing to play as good as it gets. We are fixing to play the number team in the country, so we will see exactly where we are in a few minutes."
Marshall County had six hits in the contest with Hollingsworth, King and Richards all getting a pair of base knocks.