This softball game turned into one of those games that average fans and sports reporters may enjoy, but is stressful to the player, coaches and supporters on both sides.
But many may never forget it for the rest of their lives. The Campbell County Camels made the last surge in a game that saw five lead changes to knock off the host Bishop Brossart Lady ‘Stangs, 23-18 at Alexandria City Field.
“There were some key plays that didn’t go our way early,” said Sandi Kitchen, Campbell County Head Coach. “It was a matter of the girls coming back and focusing after that. You have to stay on an even keel. I think that was what really won it for us. We know we weren’t going to swing for the fences. We needed to put a lot of hits together and we did.”
The game had more than its fair share of offensive fireworks along with misplays in the field and some calls, including a few reversals, that went for and against both sides. But a nice defensive stretch from the Camels sealed the win and gave Campbell County the inside track to the top seed in the 37th District Tournament. The Camels have won four in a row.
Campbell County (12-7 overall) is 2-0 in district seed play and Bishop Brossart (11-13) finished 1-2 most taking the third seed. Scott is 2-1 taking the second seed and Calvary Christian is 0-2. The only district seed game left takes place Friday between the Camels (12-7) and Calvary Christian in Alexandria at 5 p.m.
Campbell County eighth grade pitcher Faith Whitford (1-0) earned her first career varsity win taking over with one out in the fourth inning and limiting the Lady ‘Stangs to three hits, two unearned runs and one walk to go with four strikeouts the rest of the Way. Whitford made her varsity pitching debut Wednesday holding a tough Highlands offense to four hits, no earned runs and striking out three in a 9-5 victory.
“I just know my team had my back and I know I need to be there for them,” Whitford said. “(My confidence) is better than it was in the beginning (of the year). (The coaches) believe in me and they will be there for me. Adjusting from a lower level to varsity is really big.”
The teams combined for 37 hits. Campbell County batted .500 (20 of 40) overall drawing nine walks and Bishop Brossart batted .436 (17 of 39) drawing two walks. The Camels committed five errors leading to seven Lady ‘Stangs unearned runs and Bishop Brossart had one leading to one unearned Campbell County run.
The Camels saw five different players record multi-hit games and six extra-base hits to go with six stolen bases. Junior Paige Stewart went 4 for 5 with a double and four runs scored. Senior Maddie Kramer went 3 for 3 with a home run, four RBI and four runs scored. Junior first baseman Emily Nadeau went 3 for 5 with a home run, two RBI and three runs scored.
Campbell County saw contributions throughout the line-up. Freshman Moriah Price went 3 for 4 with a double, five RBI and three runs scored. Freshman Jayci Kremer went 3 for 4 with four RBI.
Camel eighth grade infielder Hope Hamilton had one hit. But it came at a crucial time. She punched her team-high fifth home run of the season in the top of the sixth over the wall in left field for a three-run shot to put Campbell County ahead 23-18 scoring senior center fielder Bella Bastin and seventh grade outfielder Josie Feeback. Hamilton scored twice with Bastin scoring twice and driving in two. Feeback drove in two and junior Izzy Whisman scored twice.
“We stuck together. We kept saying we had to play for each other,” Bastin said. “That’s basically it. We never gave up. We always kept pushing harder and harder before we stopped.”
Campbell County saw junior Alex Leicht start and pitch into the third inning striking out two and walking none. Stewart pitched one inning striking out one and walking one. The two know they did not have their best days on the mound. But they made up for it at the plate. Leight had a double.
“They were hitting everything. Brossart did a good job offensively,” Kitchen said. “I know it was a great game. For the most part, Faith Whitford did a great job to finish it off. Alex did a great job in the beginning. But they were hitting her so we just had to do what we could.”
Bishop Brossart saw six players record multi-hit games including its first four batters. The Lady ‘Stangs had seven extra-base hits total. Eighth grade left fielder Rachel Shewmaker went 3 for 5 with two doubles, one triple and two RBI. Junior Molly Kramer went 3 for 3 with a double, four RBI and four runs scored. Sophomore catcher Cecilia Phirman went 3 for 5 with two doubles.
Junior center fielder Brooke Shewmaker went 2 for 4 with two RBI and three runs scored. Sophomore Maddie Kremer went 2 for 3 with three RBI and two runs scored with junior third baseman Savannah Seiter going 2 for 5 with three RBI and one run scored. Senior second baseman Bentley Fisher added a double and three RBI. Junior pinch runner Natalie Reis scored three times.
Bishop Brossart rode junior Morgan Kramer for five innings. Morgan Kramer threw 147 pitches. She pitched to three batters before junior Ava Thomas took over with Bishop Brossart leading 18-16 and the tying runs on first and second. Junior Ava Thomas (1-1) pitched to four batters before sophomore Maddie Kremer finished the game. Morgan Kramer struck out three and Maddie Kremer struck out one.
Campbell County jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the top of the first. Bastin singled and moved to second when Stewart singled. Maddie Kramer then belted a three-run home run for her third of the season. Nadeau followed it up with her third home run of the year to left field.
But Bishop Brossart came back to score two in the bottom of the second. Brooke Shewmaker and Maddie Kremer reached on a hit by pitch. With two out, Fisher doubled them in.
Following a one, two, three top of the second, Bishop Brossart took the lead scoring three times in the bottom of the inning to go up 5-4. Phirman doubled and Molly Kramer singled in Reis to cut the Camel lead to 4-3. After Brooke Shewmaker singled, Maddie Kremer laid down a sacrifice bunt moving Molly Kramer and Brooke Shewmaker up one base. Seiter singled them in.
But the Camels responded with three in the top of the third. Stewart doubled and stole third. Maddie Kramer then hit a sacrifice fly to right scoring her to tie the game 5-5.
Nadeau then singled and moved to second when Price walked. Freshman Breahna Tate ran for Nadeau. Jayci Kremer singled Tate and Price home to put Campbell County up 7-5.
But the Lady ‘Stangs responded with seven in the bottom of the third and responded when the Camels cut the lead to one run twice. Rachel Shewmaker tripled and was thrown out at home. But a Camel error allowed Fisher to score cutting the lead to 7-6. Senior Alexis Kaeff singled and advanced to third when Phirman doubled and Morgan Kramer reached on an error to load the bases before Molly Kramer singled to score Kaeff and junior pinch runner Natalie Reis to give Bishop Brossart an 8-7 lead.
Brooke Shewmaker walked to load the bases before Maddie Kremer singled scoring seventh grade pinch runner Sophie Schultz and Molly Kramer to put Bishop Brossart up 10-7. The Mustangs made it 12-7 when Rachel Shewmaker doubled scoring Brooke Shewmaker and Maddie Kremer.
But Campbell County scored four in the top of the fourth to cut the margin to 12-11. Stewart singled with one out and Maddie Kramer singled her to second before Nadeau walked to load the bases. Whisman singled to score Stewart and Price cleared the bases with a double scoring Maddie Kramer, Nadeau and Whisman.
“I knew if I made an error in the field, I had to come help my team at bat,” Stewart said. “When I wasn’t doing my best on the mound, my team picked me up. I picked my other teammates up. The first couple innings we were swinging at (Morgan Kramer’s) change up a lot. Coach (Kitchen) told us it was rolling in and we just had to lay off. Then we laid off.”
Bishop Brossart responded with four in the bottom of the fourth. Phirman singled and moved to second when Morgan Kramer was hit by a pitch. Molly Kramer doubled scoring Reis and Brooke Shewmaker singled scoring Schultz and Molly Kramer to give the Lady ‘Stangs a 15-11 lead. Seiter then singled to score Brooke Shewmaker to put Bishop Brossart up 16-11.
Campbell County started the top of the fifth loading the bases on two walks. After Morgan Kramer retired the next two batters, Price singled to center scoring Hamilton. Jayci Kremer singled in Stewart before Feeback and Bastin walked with the bases loaded to score Maddie Kramer and Price trimming the Lady ‘Stangs lead to 16-15. But Morgan Kramer got Hamilton to pop out to end the inning.
Bishop Brossart pushed across two to go up 18-15. The Lady ‘Stangs loaded the bases with two out and Maddie Kremer lined a single to center scoring Reis and Molly Kramer scored on a Camel error on the same play.
But the Camels scored eight in the top of the sixth to take the lead for good. Stewart reached on an error and junior Ana Little ran for her. Maddie Kramer singled Little to third before Nadeau singled scoring Little and moving Maddie Kramer to second. Thomas then hit Whisman and Price with pitches scoring Maddie Kramer to trim the margin to 18-17 before Jayci Kremer tied it up with a single to score Neadeau to tie the game at 18.
Feebeck then walked with the bases loaded scoring Whisman to give Campbell County a 19-18 lead. Bastin grounded into a fielder’s choice forcing Feeback at second but allowing Price to score to put the Camels up 20-18. Hamiton then finished off the scoring with her home run.
Whitford retired the side in the bottom of the sixth and Maddie Kremer retired the Camels in order in the top of the seventh. Whitford struck out Phirman to start the seventh. Senior Kinsey Gulley walked but was thrown out trying to steal second. Whitford then struck out senior pinch hitter Bella Ross to end the game.
“In these type of ballgames, it’s anybody’s game. It’s a matter of who want to take it,” Kitchen said. “I feel like we were more aggressive at the plate toward the end of the game and I feel that did them in. Everything goes out the window when it’s a Campbell County-Brossart game. It’s always a competitive game and it will be again if we face them in districts.”
Campbell County has won eight in a row in the series. Bishop Brossart last beat the Camels on May 25, 2016 by a 3-1 count in the 37th District championship game. That is the last time Campbell County did not win a district championship not counting the 2020 season the Coronavirus 2019 pandemic wiped out.
Bishop Brossart travels to Conner (11-7) on Friday. Game time is 5 p.m.
Scott 16, Calvary Christian 0 (3 innings):
The Lady Eagles (13-17) wrapped up the second seed in the 37th District Tournament with a convincing win over the district rival Lady Cougars (9-15-1) just down Kentucky Highway 16.
Eighth grade pitcher Scarlett Cochran (1-5) picked up the win with the no-hitter striking out two and walking two. Scott made one error behind her. On the other hand, Scott scored eight unearned runs off six Lady Cougar errors.
“I know our defense has struggled making errors. But I know I can trust my defense so I was trying to help them out hitting my spots so they didn’t have too much pressure on them,” Cochran said. “I didn’t feel as much pressure (with the lead). I just took deep breaths and thought about finishing it.”
Scott batted .538 (14 for 26) overall. Senior left fielder Morgan Chalk led the way going 3 for 3 with two RBI and two runs scored.
Scott had six extra-base hits total. Freshman center fielder Elise Manhardt went 2 for 3 with a home run, double, four RBI and three runs scored. Freshman catcher Emerson Morman went 2 for 2 with a triple, two RBI and two runs scored. Junior first baseman Kayla Overman went 2 for 3 with a double, two RBI and two runs scored. Sophomore second baseman Ivy Cochran went 2 for 3 with three runs scored. Junior shortstop Audrey Griffin added two runs. Griffin and Overman had stolen bases.
“We haven’t had a practice in a long time because we’ve played so many games so we had a really good practice (Wednesday),” said Lisa Brewer, Scott Head Coach. “The girls came focused and they got the bat on the ball. We took extra bases when we could. We just played our type of ball. We got (Scarlett Cochran) out of a jam in the first inning. Everybody did her job.”
Scott plays St. Henry (6-13) on Friday at 5:30 p.m. Calvary Christian travels to Campbell County (12-7) on Friday for a 5 p.m. game.
Conner 4, Cooper 3:
The Lady Cougars (11-7) took down the Lady Jaguars (22-6) in a crucial 33rd District seed game. Cooper locked up the top seed finishing 5-1 with Conner’s loss to Ryle on Wednesday. But Conner made sure the second seed did not come down to the Ratings Percentage Index finishing 4-2 in district seed action.
Conner Head Coach Shawn Sproles has not forgotten how the teams run-ruled the Lady Cougars in all six district seed games and the district tournament semifinals last year. The district tournament takes place at Boone County.
“The most important thing was to try to have a winning record in district play this year,” Sproles said. “We’re excited to be able to say we ended the regular season beating all three teams at least once. Having home field does helps because district are usually tough in the postseason.”
Conner took a 4-1 lead in the bottom of the second and held on for the win. The Lady Cougars loaded the bases with one out and sophomore Katie Hammond singled to score senior catcher Haley Kersker. One out later, senior shortstop Alex Cobble walked scoring eighth grader Breanna Meredith before sophomore pitcher Molly Sharp singled scoring sophomore right fielder Aaliyah Secrest and Meredith.
“I think this is a big confidence boost,” Cobble said. “I think it just proved to ourselves that we have a chance. It’s always been a competitive district. We learned we have to keep energy up. We had to battle back. It taught us we can battle.”
Sharp (9-4) pitched a complete game striking out six, walking three and allowing three hits and three unearned runs. Conner made three errors.
“I think we came out ready to play,” Sproles said. “When we put up some runs, we had to hold on from the defensive side because (Cooper) did a good job shutting us down after that inning. Cooper is obviously one of the best in the region, if not the best.”
Conner batted .217 (5 for 23) overall. Meredith led the way going 2 for 2. Sophomore second baseman Ava Scott scored twice for Cooper.
Senior Amber Chaney (9-3) pitched two innings for Cooper before junior Kendall Blau took over pitching four. Blau struck out three, walked two and allowed one hit. Chaney struck out two, walked four and allowed four hits and four earned runs.
Conner play host to Bishop Brossart (11-13) at 5 p.m. Friday. Cooper travels to Pendleton County (13-9) for a 6 p.m. game.
Dixie Heights 9, Boone County 1:
The Colonels (17-5) continued to be the hottest team in the 9th Region winning their 12th in a row down the road against the Lady Rebels (9-16). Dixie Heights is 8-1 in region play.
Sophomore Riley Hopkins (13-4) pitched another complete game striking out two, walking two and allowing just two four hits and one unearned run. Dixie Heights had two errors to one for Boone County.
“We try to take it game by game, day by day and just go based on that,” said Sarah Osborne, Dixie Heights Head Coach. “I’ve always said defense wins championships. Our defense is playing well right now. That’s a big focus of ours along with hitting. Riley trusts her defense. They know they have it behind her even if she struggles.”
Dixie Heights batted .419 (13 for 31) overall. The two Dixie Heights seniors in second baseman Bri Patsel and third baseman Ava Meyer led the way after not having their greatest games at the plate against Villa Madonna on Wednesday. Patsel went 4 for 4 with two doubles and three runs scored. Meyer went 3 for 3 with four RBI and three runs scored. Meyer hit a two-run home run in the top of the sixth for her first of the season.
Eighth grader Sydney Schumacher went 2 for 4 with one RBI and one run scored. Sophomore first baseman Skylar Mitchell belted a three-run home run in the top of the first for her second one of the season scoring Patsel and Meyer to give Dixie Heights a 3-0 advantage.
Senior KB Irwin pitched the first two innings for Boone County before freshman Dani Wright pitched the last five. Irwin struck out two, walked none and allowed three hits and three earned runs. Wright struck out one, walked one and allowed 10 hits and six earned runs.
“We honestly laid off it,” Meyer said of Irwin’s change up that many opponents swing under and pop up. “We had a couple girls attack it. When we did, we hit it hard. That made some good plays on us. We waited for her to miss her spots and took advantage of that.”
Dixie Heights plays at Conner (11-7) on Monday at 5:30 p.m. Boone County travels to Notre Dame (9-8) on Friday for a 5 p.m. game.
Ryle 12, Simon Kenton 11:
The Lady Raiders (16-12) trailed 8-2 after four innings. But they scored 10 runs in the top of the fifth and held on for a road win over the Lady Pioneers (13-11). This marked the second win for Ryle over Simon Kenton.
Sophomore Maddie Goddard broke an 8-8 tie in the fifth with her first career grand slam. She finished 4 for 5 with five RBI and two runs scored. That marked her second home run of the season.
“At the beginning of the season, we were struggling hitting and just trying to get the ball in play leaving runners on base,” Goddard said. “In that inning, we came up and did our best. You just have to go up to the plate, be confident in yourself and just try to hit a line drive. You have to relax when you’re at the plate.”
Ryle batted .417 (15 for 36) overall. Senior center fielder Grace Morgan went 3 for 5 with one RBI and two runs scored. Junior first baseman Grace Tranbargar went 2 for 4 with one RBI and one run scored and junior left fielder Emily Zmurk went 2 for 4 with one run scored. Junior Payton Godfrey batted in two with junior shortstop Avery Parsons scoring three times.
“We played pretty tough,” said Jarret Goddard, Ryle Head Coach. “I had some girls hit exceptionally well throughout the line-up. I definitely wanted to make sure they got their cuts in and they did a very nice job.”
Freshman Laci DeLauder started the game pitching into the fourth inning striking out one. Junior Lerin Moreland (5-3) finished the game earning the win. Ryle committed six errors leading to seven Simon Kenton unearned runs and scored one off three Simon Kenton errors.
Simon Kenton batted .333 (11 for 33) overall with three players recording multi-hit games. Sophomore Addison Johnson went 2 for 2 with a double, RBI and one run scored. Johnson (4-2) pitched the first six innings before seventh grader Lauren McIntosh pitched the seventh.
Freshman second baseman Larkin Mitchell went 2 for 5 with two doubles and three RBI for the Lady Pioneers. Senior Hannah Schwier went 2 for 4 with a double, one RBI and one run scored. Senior shortstop Alexis Baker had a double, two RBI and scored three runs. Seventh grade right fielder Jayden Jones scored twice.
Ryle plays host to Highlands (17-11) on Friday at 5 p.m. Simon Kenton travels to Montgomery County (27-3) for a 6 p.m. game. The Lady Indians have won 25 in a row.
Highlands 5, Grant County 1:
The Bluebirds (17-11) took down the Lady Braves (12-12) in non-region play at Winkler Field.
Highlands scored four runs in the bottom of the first and never looked back. Junior Carly Cramer had a key two-run single in that inning.
Freshman pitcher Brianna Knochelman did not start for Grant County. She pitched the sixth inning and went 2 for 2 at the plate with a double. Senior Breanna Beach pitched the first five innings.
“I hit the first pitch (Beach) threw to me,” Cramer said. “We had good energy that first inning so it gave me a little boost.”
Eighth grade pitcher Kaitlyn Dixon (5-2) pitched a complete game striking out nine, walking one and allowing just four hits and one earned run. Highlands had no errors defensively and scored one off three Grant County errors.
“When you can put a couple runs on the board in the first inning, that really helps,” said Milt Horner, Highlands Head Coach. “We actually hit some line drives right at them or we’d have scored more runs. I actually was pretty happy with our at-bats. We couldn’t get a hit when we needed it. We’re playing some good games and we’re playing some not so good games. We played well.”
Highlands plays travels to Ryle (16-12) on Friday for a 5 p.m. game.
St. Henry 7, Highlands 6:
The Crusaders (14-12-1) trailed 6-0 entering the bottom of the seventh against the Bluebirds (16-13). But they scored seven in the bottom of the seventh. With two out, senior shortstop Camden Fedders lined a single to center scoring sophomore Carson Shea to win the game.
St. Henry batted .269 (7 for 26) overall. Senior Matthew Miller went 2 for 4 with one double, three RBI to lead the Crusaders. Fedders also went 2 for 4 with one RBI and one run scored. Junior Sam Martin pitched the seventh to earn the win for St. Henry striking out two.
Highlands batted .280 (7 for 25) overall. Junior Jack Hendrix went 2 for 4 to lead the way scoring once. Senior Jack Schneider and junior Ryan DeBurger batted in two each. DeBurger and senior Mason Welsch had doubles and junior JP Donelan scored twice.
Junior Eli Hale (0-2) took the loss for Highlands. Junior Logan Weber pitched into the seventh striking out five before Hale took over.
St. Henry plays at Conner (26-5) on Friday at 5 p.m. Highlands plays Cincinnati (Ohio) Elder (13-8) at 8 p.m. at Great American Ballpark.
Beechwood 16, Holy Cross 0 (4 innings):
The Tigers finished 35th District seed play undefeated at 3-0 to earn the undisputed top seed in the district tournament at Covington Catholic.
Senior Jack Briney (2-0) pitched a complete game for the Tigers striking five and walking one. Neither team committed any errors.
Beechwood batted .609 (14 for 23) overall on its Senior Day. Junior first baseman Cameron Boyd led the way going 4 for 4 with three home runs, five RBI and four runs scored. Boyd has 14 home runs on the season.
“We came out and really hit well,” said Kevin Gray, Beechwood Head Coach. “The great thing about baseball is we didn’t play very well (Wednesday at Simon Kenton). You get to play the next day. In all phases of the game, Jack Briney pitched a great game. On defense, we made a lot of great plays in the field.”
Junior center fielder Mitchell Berger went 2 for 3 with two doubles, two RBI and two runs scored for Beechwood. Senior second baseman Sam Cottengim went 2 for 2 with a double, four RBI and one run scored. Junior Landon Johnson went 2 for 2 with a double, three RBI and one run scored.
The Tigers had 11 extra-base hits. Junior designated hitter Nazario Pangallo tripled and scored twice. Junior catcher Brice Estep and junior shortstop Ben Meier doubled. Meier and senior left fielder Brett Holladay scored two runs each.
“Especially in a game like this, you try to put them away as fast as you can,” Boyd said. “The longer a team lasts, the more confidence they get and the more things can go wrong for us. We kept our feet on the gas and went for the run-ruling.”
Holy Cross batted .154 (2 for 13) overall. Senior Ryan Pulsfort had a double.
Holy Cross plays Cooper in the Coach Conner Classic on Friday at 5 p.m. Beechwood takes on Nicholas County (20-8) on Saturday at 11 a.m. in its David Iery Invitational.
Newport Central Catholic 11, Ludlow 1 (6 innings):
The Thoroughbreds (15-10) handled the Panthers (11-18) scoring seven runs in the top of the fourth.
Senior Joel Iles (5-1) pitched the first five innings for NewCath striking out four, walking three and allowing just three hits. Sophomore Connor Seiter pitched the sixth inning striking out two, walking none and allowing just one hit. Seiter batted in two.
NewCath batted .387 (12 for 31) overall. Junior center fielder Luke Runyon went 2 for 2 with three RBI and one run scored. Senior third baseman Dominic Drury went 2 for 4 with two RBI and two runs scored. Junior Matt Landrum went 2 for 5 with one RBI and one run scored. Senior second baseman Brennan Seiter and senior shortstop Luke Wiles scored twice.
Ludlow saw one player record a multi-hit game. Junior Isaac Brown went 2 for 3 with a double and RBI.
NewCath plays Walton-Verona (19-8-1) on Friday at 8:30 p.m. at Great Crossing High in Georgetown. Ludlow plays Lloyd Memorial (10-15) on Saturday at 10 a.m.
Simon Kenton 8, Walton-Verona 8 (9 innings):
The Pioneers (16-10-1) and Bearcats (19-8-1) left in a tie in extra innings because of darkness in Verona.
Simon Kenton went ahead 8-6 in the top of the eighth. But Walton-Verona rallied to tie it when sophomore Julian Dixon doubled in junior Lance Coleman and junior Ed Drohan.
Both teams committed two errors. Walton-Verona scored three unearned runs to two for Simon Kenton.
The Bearcats batted .366 (15 for 41) overall. Senior shortstop Nick Allen went 3 for 4 with a triple, RBI and two runs scored. Junior center fielder Ethan Mills went 3 for 6 with one run scored. Coleman went 2 for 5 with one run scored. Junior Evan Kerns and Dixon drove in two each.
Kerns pitched the first seven innings striking out four and walking one. Drohan pitched the eighth and junior Carter Krohman pitched the ninth striking out three and walking one.
Simon Kenton batted .324 (12 for 37) overall. Senior Tom Lind went 3 for 3 with two runs scored. Senior Nolan Schreiber went 2 for 3 with two runs scored. Junior Gavin Riley went 2 for 3 with four RBI with senior Logan Grubenhoff going 2 for 4 with one run scored. Senior Peyton Fernbach went 2 for 5 with one RBI and one run scored.
Riley pitched the first five innings striking out three and walking three. Fernbach pitched the last four striking out two and walking two.
Simon Kenton plays Grant County (9-11) on Friday at 7 p.m. Walton-Verona faces NewCath (15-10) on Friday at 8:30 p.m. in the Warhawk Classic at Great Crossing High in Georgetown.
Other May 12 NKY Softball Scores:
Holmes 10, Bellevue 8
Dayton 15, Lloyd Memorial 0 (3 innings)
Other May 12 NKY Baseball Score:
Williamstown 9, Villa Madonna 2