June 8th, 2012
Mercy Blanks Boyle County In Semis
Jaguars' win puts team back in state championship game
The Mercy Academy Jaguars struck for four runs in the first inning on their way to a resounding 8-0 victory over the Boyle County Lady Rebels in the final of the winner's bracket at the Rawlings/KHSAA State Softball Tournament at Jack C. Fisher Park in Owensboro Saturday morning.
The win puts Mercy into the state final this afternoon at 1pm CDT. The Jaguars will play the winner of the Lone Oak v. Boyle County for the state title.
Hot hitting junior centerfielder Morgan Meyer ignited the Jaguars as she led off the game by reaching base on an error, promptly stole second and scored on Jordan Vorbrink's RBI single. Meyer was 3-4, stole three bases and scored 3 runs in the game.
For the freshman Vorbrink, who is making a big impact on this tournament, it was the 10th of her 11 RBIs in Mercy's four state tournament games. Later in the first inning, junior Aubrey Meiners struck a two-run single to give the Jaguars a 4-0 lead before the Lady Rebels had an at bat.
Sophomore shortstop Erika Downey also notched a two-run single and sophomore Lauren Springhetti, the heroine of Mercy's win over Greenwood, singled in a run as well.
While the Jaguars started ace pitcher J.J. Francis in the circle, she only pitched one inning. Mercy added two runs in the top of the second to take a 6-0 lead and that breathing room allowed head coach Josh Bloomer to rest Francis for the championship game. Bloomer brought in junior Haley Twyman to pitch and she was lights-out. Twyman allowed only two hits, had 9 Ks and struck out the side in the sixth inning.
Mercy's offense racked up 12 hits, 9 singles and 3 double, and had 6 stolen bases as a team.
WINNER'S BRACKET SEMIFINAL: MERCY 7 LONE OAK 2 - June 8, 2012
Jaguars take advantage of 6 Lone Oak errors, plate 7 runs
The Mercy Academy Jaguars weathered another first inning storm, took advantage of 6 Lone Oak Purple Flash errors and cruised to a 7-2 victory in the semifinals of the winner's bracket in the Rawlings/KHSAA State Softball Tournament at Jack C. Fisher Park in Owensboro Friday afternoon.
The Jaguars' fast-break offense and aggressive baserunning helped force those six Lone Oak errors and combined with Mercy's seven hits, the game was never in question. And though they committed two errors themselves in this game, to go with the two errors they committed in their morning session game v. Greenwood, the Mercy defense was stellar when it needed to be.
With junior leadoff hitter Morgan Meyer adding two more hits to her state tournament collection and sophomore shortstop Erika Downey continuing her clutch play with 2 hits and 3 RBIs, the Jaguars attacked the Purple Flash at every opportunity and advanced to the final of the winner's bracket Saturday morning against Boyle County.
It was a familiar formula for head coach Josh Bloomer's Jaguars and they executed in both games that they played on Friday. Even though they were extended to extra innings in their quarterfinal win over Greenwood High School in the morning round, the trust that they have in their style of play and in their system paid huge dividends for the team.
"We just keep putting more and more pressure on and eventually someone will do their job and make a play," said Bloomer. "Leigh Ellen Thomas (freshman pitcher) came in an threw eight great innings for us (vs. Greenwood) and Aubrey Meiners (left fielder) made a game saving catch against Greenwood that was just incredible. Our stronger players are doing their thing, but everyone is making plays to help us win."
Against Greenwood, Meiners made the defensive play of the tournament. With the bases loaded and two outs in the top of the 10th inning, Angela Adkins scorched a drive to left centerfield. To hear Bloomer describe it, Meiners took the perfect angle to the ball and laid out at the fence to rob Adkins of an extra base hit that would have scored two or three runs.
Bloomer cited reserves Randi Hawksley, light-hitting third baseman Tori Lasley and seldom-used sophomore Lauren Springhetti as well as others on the bench as supporting members who came up big for the Jaguars.
Against Lone Oak, the Jaguars let the Purple Flash make mistakes and pounced on them at every turn. In the second inning, Mercy turned two Purple Flash errors into two runs; their aggresive baserunning proving too much for Lone Oak to handle.
Lone Oak came right back in the third inning getting a leadoff double from Jacqueline Roof, a sacrifice and then an RBI single from Alex Sohl, who was 4-4 on the day. While Sohl, an Appalachain State signee, was a tough out all day, Francis worked around her bat and limited the damage that the Purple Flash supportin cast could levy on the Jaguars.
In the bottom of the third, Downey's one-out, bases-loaded single scored two more runs for the Jaguars as they took a commanding 4-1 lead. While Sohl did drive in another run in the top of the fourth, the Jaguars responded with a run of their own in the bottom of the inning to take a 5-2 lead and tacked on two more runs in the fifth to set the final score.
Mercy will face Boyle County Saturday morning at 10am eastern time in the finals of the winner's bracket.