Marshall County, with nothing worse than a tie for first place already clenched in District 4 softball standings, takes on two Region 1 powers and then heads for tournament play in Owensboro this week.
First-year coach Kara Hamby’s team has won seven straight and eight of their last nine games, bouncing back from a 2-3 performance in the Florida Softball Beach Bash during spring break.
“They are on a roll,” Hamby said of her team. “The last two weeks, they’re hitting the ball a little better [and] not making the little errors we were making. They’re really putting it together.”
The Lady Marshals, at 14-5, trail only once-beaten Lone Oak and 14-2 Reidland among region teams, record-wise.
The only loss was a 10-0 setback at the hands of Lone Oak on April 9.
Marshall County travels to Reidland Thursday, following a visit by 12-9 Graves County today at 5:30 p.m.
The Lady Marshals’ offense is producing plenty of power. Senior third baseman-shortstop Buzz Ray has hit six home runs, freshman catcher Abby Fiessinger four, junior pitcher Toni Fehrenbacher three and senior outfield Mallory Young one.
Fehrenbacher, a righthander, has a 12-4 record.
In games last week, the Lady Marshals took command of the district with wins at Murray and at home against Calloway County.
A home game originally set for Monday to open this week’s play was canceled because the opponent, Union County, has to make up a rained-out district contest. But it will be a busy week anyway, weather permitting, with four games in the weekend Sports Warehouse Catholic Classic in Owensboro.
Marshall County plays Bowling Green at 8:30 p.m. Friday. The Purples from Region 4 were 14-8 entering this week’s play.
Three games are on tap for Saturday, starting with a matchup against South Spencer, Ind., at 10 a.m.
Next up will be Muhlenberg County at 1 p.m. and Madisonville-North Hopkins will be the final opponent in a 4 p.m. game. The Lady Maroons are atop the Region 2 standings at 18-2 going into this week’s schedule.
Marshall Co. 5,
At Murray April 23, Abby Fiessinger belted her fourth home run of the season with two out in the first inning and the Lady Marshals never looked back.
Fiessinger’s shot came with two outs and with Buzz Ray on base.
In the third inning, Fiessinger was in pain after being hit in the back by a pitch from Murray pitcher Prestley Blane, but the freshman catcher stayed in the game.
The Lady Marshals added three more runs in the fourth. Hailey Harrell singled and was sacrificed to second by Toni Fehrenbacher. Caitlyn York popped up for the second out, but Chaney Stearns walked and Mallory Young doubled, driving in Harrell and Stearns. Then Young scored when Lexee Miller reached on an error.
Murray got its one run in the third. A double, a walk and an error loaded the bases, but the Lady Tigers only got the single tally as the Lady Marshals got an out on a line drive to shortstop Payton Smothers, then retired the runner at third on a fielder’s choice that scored Morghen Turley, then ended the inning with a ground out by Loryn Carver.
Ray was 3-for-4 and Fiessinger and Young each had two RBI.
Marshall 200 300 0 – 5 10 2
Murray 000 001 0 – 1 4 1
WP: Fehrenbacher LP: Prestley Blane
Marshall Co. 10,
Calloway Co. 0
On Thursday, the Lady Marshals’ hitting and a half-dozen errors by the Lady Lakers combined for a runaway victory that ended when Marshall County reached the 10-run margin with three in the bottom of the sixth.
Toni Fehrenbacher pitched a one-hitter and was 2-for-3 with two RBI. She struck out four and walked four.
Payton Smothers had a triple and Mallory Young a double, and Buzz Ray was 2-for-4 with two RBI for the Lady Marshals.
Haley Tidwell got the only base hit off Fehrenbacher, a single to lead off the fourth. But the Lady Lakers’ next three batters went down on a pop-up, a strikeout and a ground out.
Young’s double opened the sixth, with the Lady Marshals up 7-0. She went to third when Lexee Miller reached on an error and scored on a single by Ray.
After Abby Fiessinger flied out, Smothers singled and Ray came in with the game-ending 10th run.
Calloway 000 000 – 0 1 6
Marshall 401 023 – 10 11 1
WP: Toni Fehrenbacher LP: Laken Kelso