PREP SOFTBALL: Paysen, LaRue County roll by Washington County in region quarters, 9-2 (05/27)

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Lady Hawks to play Central Hardin today in region semis

By Nathaniel Bryan


By NATHANIEL BRYAN nbryan@thenewsenterprise.com MUNFORDVILLE — Having such a young team, LaRue County coach Mielle DiStefano wondered how her Lady Hawks would react to the pressure and rigors that the 5th Region Softball Tournament offers. Fortunately for DiStefano, Tesha Paysen remembered what to do. A senior third baseman, Paysen went 4-for-4 with four stolen bases and one run batted in as the Lady Hawks got off to a sluggish start before throttling the Washington County Commanderettes, 9-2 in Monday’s late quarterfinal at Hart County. “I think we played pretty well,” Paysen said. “We played as a team and everyone was fired up.” “Everyone” would most certainly include Brittany Enlow. LaRue County’s pony-tailed eighth-grade pitcher, Enlow struck out nine of the 27 Commanderettes she faced, sitting down every batter at least once with the exception of shortstop Amber Taylor, who went 2-for-3. “She comes ready to play every game,” Paysen said of Enlow, who didn’t walk or hit a batter and scattered three singles in addition to Taylor’s two hits. “She got her first taste of a district title last week and now she wants to go to State.” The Lady Hawks (19-12) are two games from State, but standing in their way in today’s 8 p.m. semifinal is 17th District champion Central Hardin (22-13) which hammered 20th District runner-up Campbellsville (12-21) in Monday’s third quarterfinal, 7-1. Central Hardin, which is 4-0 in region semifinal games since 2003, did not face LaRue County in the regular season. “We have to look at them as just another team. You can’t be paying attention to the name on the shirt,” said Paysen, who helped LaRue County top Central Hardin in the 2005 title game. “You have to come out and play your best.” It looked like LaRue County came out with its best against Washington County as Enlow retired the first three Commanderette batters and the Lady Hawks responded with back-to-back-to-back singles in the bottom of the first. None of those singles panned out to runs and the Lady Hawks paid for it the next inning as Washington County scored on a two-out error in the outfield. LaRue County responded with three runs in its half of the second on only one hit but three Commanderette walks and two passed balls. The Lady Hawks added one run in the third inning and took a 7-1 lead into the top of the fourth. LaRue County finished with 11 hits as all 10 Lady Hawk hitters reached base at least once. Junior infielders Megan Mauldin and Christian Cox combined to go 4-for-8 with three RBIs and two runs scored, while Enlow and junior left fielder Tori Banks reached base three times each. The Lady Hawks were aided by eight walks, one hit batsman and eight passed balls or wild pitches. The win was LaRue County’s seventh consecutive, meaning the Lady Hawks will enter the Central Hardin game riding their longest winning streak of the year. “Everyone is playing well,” DiStefano said. “They all have one reason to be playing right now and that’s what I like the most about this team.” The game was the second meeting between the teams this year. LaRue County hammered the Commanderettes, 15-0 in four innings late last month in their Lady Hawk Challenge. Paysen said her team forgot about the first meeting. “We came in here thinking this was a new season, so we had to start anew,” she said. “You had to win this one to be able to go on to the next one.” LARUE COUNTY 9, WASHINGTON COUNTY 2                                           R   H   E Washington Co. 010    010   0   2   5   2 LaRue County   031    302   x   9 11   3 Kelly Hill, Lee Goatley (4) and Ashley Sexton. Brittany Enlow and Allie Perkins. WP: Enlow. LP: Hill. Nathaniel Bryan can be reached at 505-1758