2006 Kentucky High School Softball

Friday, March 31, 2006

New Rankings

Let's make every Friday night the time that new rankings will come out. Keep in mind that I WILL NOT drop a team in the rankings for losing to an out-of-state team. They may fall spots in the poll, but that will only be due to another team jumping ahead of them because of their great performance.

Top 25 Rankings (April 1st - April 7th)

1) Greenwood (1)
2) Owensboro Catholic (2)
3) Henderson County (3)
4) Grayson County (10)
--Had undoubtedly the best first week of anyone with wins over Warren East, Meade County and Christian County
5) North Laurel (5)
6) Ballard (4)
7) Christian County (7)
8) Ryle (7)
9) Manual (9)
--Started year with statement victory at Male
10) Allen County-Scottsville (8)
11) Reidland (11)
12) North Hardin (13)
13) South Laurel (12)
--Dropped the first 13th region-edition versus rival North
14) Hopkins County Central (14)
15) Dunbar (15)
16) Estill County (16)
17) Butler (18)
18) Lafayette (19)
19) Male (18)
20) Mercy (17)
21) Shelby County (NR)
--Off to a fast start in the new-look 8th region
22) St. Mary (NR)
23) Scott County (NR)
24) Meade County (21)
25) Heath (NR)

Dropped out: Franklin County, Calloway County, Dixie Heights, Sacred Heart

Happy Friday, Part II

Every Friday, I hope to bring the Weekend Tournament Watch to you. Here's what tournaments we'll have our eyes on this weekend...

--TSOA Tournament (Meade County)

Teams Participating
: Southern, Mercy, Bishop Brossart, Sacred Heart, Henderson County, George Rogers Clark, North Hardin, Breckinridge County, North Hardin, Grayson County, Butler, Meade County, Daviess County, Central Hardin

: What will it take to get a Henderson County-Grayson County matchup? Come on, we're begging to see it. Those aren't the only two good teams there though. Sacred Heart, Mercy, North Hardin, Meade County and Butler are all ranked.

--Warren East Invitational (Warren East)

Teams Participating: Barren County, Warren Central, Warren East, John Hardin, Edmonson County, Russellville, Muhlenberg South, Hopkins County Central, Owensboro, Russell County, St. Mary, Jeffersontown

Analysis: Not as many good teams in this field, but still it should be a solid tournament. Look for Hopkins County Central to win it, but don't be surprised to see Edmonson County and St. Mary have a say in things.

--Boyle County Invitational (Boyle County)

Teams Participating: Lincoln County, Casey County, Mercer County, Danville, Rowan County, McCreary Central, Bell County, Southwestern, Wayne County, Washington County, Pulaski County, Boyle County

Analysis: This baby is wide open. None of these teams are state championship quality, but nonetheless, it should be a competitive tournament full of teams that know each other well. Gut feeling: go with Wayne County.

Other weekend games of note...

Hopkinsville @ #1 Greenwood
Spencer County @ Shelby County

Check out the KHSAA link for updated scores. Have a great weekend!

Happy Friday, Part I

Let's take a look at what Thursday had in store for us...

--It was the game of the day, and so far, it's probably the game of the year; Grayson County outlasted Christian County in 10 innings, beating the Colonels 7-6. What a week for the Cougars! They defeat a solid Warren East team, destroy new 3rd region foe Meade County and beat a top-10 team in Christian County to ensure their place among the state's elite.

--Mercy has now won two in a row. After an opening loss to Male, Mercy came back with wins over Fern Creek and, yesterday, Sacred Heart by a 7-1 margin.

--Lexington Catholic is off to a tough start so far. The Knights are 0-3 with all losses coming by a one-run margin. Yesterday, it was Model who knocked off Catholic.

--Who's my Cinderella to watch in the 11th region? How about Woodford County? The Yellow Jackets are off to a good start, with wins over Lexington Catholic and Anderson County and a close loss to state power (?) Estill County.

--The titans of the 4th both added wins yesterday as well. ACS dusted off Monroe County 10-0 in six innings, and Greenwood dominated defending 5th region champ Larue County 9-1.

Also, in the C-J's 7th region preview, I read that Manual's star pitcher Becca Saksefski was injured in Manual's win over Male on Wednesday. We have our eye on this situation as it unfolds.

More scores as they are updated...

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Looking back and ahead

Wednesday is usually a down day for scheduled games, but we had a few worth mentioning...

--#6 Christian County got a nice win over Evansville Harrison (IN) 3-2. The Colonels are one of the three teams to watch in the 2nd region; #3 Henderson County and #14 Hopkins County Central are the other two worth watching this season.

--#9 Manual defeated #19 Male 2-0 in another 25th district showdown. We'll be watching this district all year long, as I have deemed it to be the best district in the state. Male has also played district rival Mercy this week, beating them 9-3 in 8 innings.

--Speaking of #17 Mercy, they bounced back with a 7-0 win over Fern Creek.

--Want a fast start? Try Shelby County, who has played three games in three days and won them all. With Scott County exiting the 8th region for the 11th, look for the Rockets to be favorited in the 8th region.


Games to watch...

Monroe County @ #8 Allen County Scottsville
Assumption @ #9 Manual
#4 Ballard @ Jeffersontown
#1 Greenwood @ Larue County
#25 Sacred Heart @ #17 Mercy

Game of the day...

#6 Christian County @ #10 Grayson County

Check back tomorrow for our first Weekend Tournament Watch...

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Wednesday Wrap-up

I'm all into clever titles, and I think I got a good one going here. No matter, let's take a look at the Monday leftovers and what Tuesday had in store...


--#1 Greenwood started their season with a bang, romping lowly Logan County 14-1. It was Rachel Riley pitching for the Gators instead of Brittany York, the UL signee and the probable Miss Softball frontrunner. There aren't many teams who can throw two all-state candidates out there like Greenwood. The Bowling Green Daily News even goes this far...

While York is the Lady Gators’ ace, the team’s No. 2 pitcher – sophomore Rachel Riley – is arguably the second-best pitcher in the Fourth Region.

I know a few Allen County-Scottsville Patriots who would certainly argue with that statement.

--We have an official sleeper in the 1st region. St. Mary defeated 2004 state champion Calloway County (also ranked #23 in the preseason poll) by a score of 10-2. Can St. Mary challenge Reidland in the 1st region? I think so...

--Also, Shelby County got off to a good start with an 8-1 win over Eminence. The Rockets will benefit from Scott County's move to the 11th region and should be the favorite to win the 8th region.


--Offense was supposed to be a concern for the Allen County-Scottsville Patriots, but the 4th region champs opened with a bang yesterday by destroying new 4th region foe Russell County 16-0 in only four innings. The Patriots boast arguably the most impressive pitching staff in the state, led by senior Jamie Ogles. If ACS can consistently hit the ball, they will give Greenwood all they want and then some in the 4th region.

--New faces in new places: both South Laurel and North Laurel moved to the 13th region, but the two seem to have not forgotten their competitive ways. In the Battle of London, North beat South yesterday 3-2. It would be silly to think that the 13th regional tournament wouldn't come down to these two in the end.

--Welcome to the 3rd region, Meade County. Grayson County gave the new 3rd region team a good ol' country arse-whoopin', shelling them 12-1. It was a bit surprising to see Grayson County win this impressively after losing so much talent, but this win validates their place among the state's elite. Could this be the year that the Cougars take down Catholic?

--Greenwood wasn't impressive, but the Gators defeated Edmonson County by a score of 3-0. Edmonson County was a force in the 4th region last season (they beat ACS 1-0 early on), but a move to Grayson County's district and region eliminates their progress in the 4th. However, if Meade County can't challenge Grayson and Catholic, can Edmonson throw a wrench into things? I doubt it.

More scores and updates as they come in. Check out KHSAA for up-to-date scores.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Things I'm Seeing

All of Monday's scores haven't been posted yet [one wonders if these games were played and somebody's too lazy to post the scores or all of them were canceled (I'm guessing the former)] , but here are some thoughts I had while reading the scores...

--We all know that Henderson County has one of the best (if not the best) pitcher in the state in Stacy Whitmer, but Providence can probably attest that the Colonels have a good offense as well...26 RUNS IN THREE INNINGS! Good form with the bats there.

--Is there a tougher district than the 25th? The three M's--Male, Mercy and Manuel--form a district that probably rivals the 42nd in basketball (Henry Clay, Scott County, Bryan Station). Male took the early lead with a 9-3 beatdown of Mercy.

--Grayson County lost arguably the two best seniors in the state but still apparently has the talent to win big games; they beat 4th region sleeper Warren East 5-0 to open the season.

--Meade County won their 3rd region debut by outhitting Southern 16-12. Meade County probably won't win their region, but they could throw a big scare into the joint-dictatorship of Owensboro Catholic and Grayson County. We'll see how well Meade County measures up to their new competition, as they host Grayson County today.

--Ballard and Estill County, 2nd and 4th respectively at the 2005 state tournament, opened their seasons with impressive wins. Ballard beat the 8th region's Oldham County 6-0, and Estill County proved they belong as the Engineers (my nomination for coolest mascot in the state) choo-chooed to a 2-1 win over Lexington Catholic.

What to watch for today...

--(10) Grayson County @ (21) Meade County
--(5) North Laurel @ (12) South Laurel
--several other ranked games...check out the latest scores here...

Monday, March 27, 2006

Opening Day(s)

As we will see often, the scoreboard at KHSAA.com likes to lie to us. There were two Beth Haven games scheduled for Saturday, but those scores haven't been posted, so we are to assume that they never happened and the scoreboard told a falsehood. Sigh...

Oh well, we are fairly sure that the regular season begins in earnest over the next two days. Let's take a look at some of the intriguing games that will start the season...

Oldham County @ (4) Ballard
St. Mary @ (23) Calloway County
(5) North Laurel @ Danville
Warren East @ (10) Grayson County
Providence @ (3) Henderson County
(16) Estill County @ Lexington Catholic
(1) Greenwood @ Logan County
(6) Christian County @ Muhlenberg North
(2) Owensboro Catholic @ Niceville, FL
Paducah Tilghman @ (11) Reidland
Corbin @ (12) South Laurel

And the game of the day...
(19) Male @ (17) Mercy

(2) Owensboro Catholic @ Crestview, FL
(15) Dunbar @ Danville
(14) Hopkins County Central @ Fort Campbell
Edmonson County @ (1) Greenwood
(10) Grayson County @ (21) Meade County
(11) Reidland @ Murray
(8) Allen County-Scottsville @ Russell County
(3) Henderson County @ Webster County

And the game of the day...
(5) North Laurel @ (12) South Laurel

Friday, March 24, 2006

Preseason Poll

You can look here for another preseason poll, but why would you want to trust someone else's judgment? Ha, here's what I have to say...

1) Greenwood
2) Owensboro Catholic
3) Henderson County
4) Ballard
5) North Laurel
6) Christian County
7) Ryle
8) Allen County-Scottsville
9) Manual
10) Grayson County
11) Reidland
12) South Laurel
13) North Hardin
14) Hopkins Central
15) Dunbar
16) Estill County
17) Mercy
18) Butler
19) Male
20) Lafayette
21) Meade County
22) Franklin County
23) Calloway County
24) Dixie Heights
25) Sacred Heart

Others considered: Heath, Larue County, Middlesboro, Dixie Heights, Central Hardin, Lexington Catholic, Franklin-Simpson, Russell, Shelby County, Scott County

Also, the season begins tomorrow, as Beth Haven hosts a doubleheader starting at 1:30 EST. The first game is against Central and the second game is against Fort Knox. The full schedule begins in earnest on Monday and Tuesday.

Ta da!

I guess a basketball blog didn't stick as well as I wanted it to, so I'm not gonna wait around until October to try that again. Let's try this baby out on the mother of all spring sports--high school softball.

Of course, it would be a little unfair of me to say that, seeing that I've only been a fan of this thing for going on a year now. But nevertheless, I'm publishing this thing to make you think that I know everything there is to know about high school softball.

Haha, but the trick's on you because I know very little! But this is gonna be fun, and I hope I keep the blog updated throughout the year, from tomorrow to the state championship game in J-Town (coincidentally, the home of the 2006 boys' basketball state champs--the Jeffersontown Chargers)...

There are many storylines to follow this season. Will Owensboro Catholic repeat as state champions? What effect with the Laurels have as they move to their new region? Will the second region emerge as the best region in the state? Will Greenwood finally suck it up and take down ACS in the fourth region? Will an Eastern Kentucky team pull an Estill County and go all Cinderella on us?

That's just some of the things we'll be following all season on this blog. Thanks for visiting, and check back daily for reflection and prediction...as if I know what I'm talking about.

Ha! Good form! Ha!