Lady Engineers win their 11th 14th Region Title, first since 2018
CAMPTON – May 29, 2022 – Brendon D. Miller
Estill and Wolfe met in a matchup of the current titans of 14th Region softball on Sunday. Since 2006, the year that Estill came into the 14th Region, the Lady Engineers and Lady Wolves had won 12 of the 15 Tournaments contested (2020 was cancelled due to COVID) coming in to Sundays title game with Estill taking 10 titles, but Wolfe had won the last two in 2019 and 2021. Wolfe was also the heavy favorite to win the 2020 cancelled tournament.
Estill came into the Championship Game not having allowed a run in the post season outscoring Powell County and Lee County 25-0 enroute to the 56th District title, and shutting out Breathitt County 4-0 in the quarterfinals and Letcher Central 2-0 in the semi-finals. Wolfe County defeated rival Breathitt County 2-1 in the 55th District title game, Lee County 13-3 in the quarterfinals, and then bested pre-tournament Region favorite Perry Central 5-3 in a great one in the semi-finals.
Lady Engineer Senior Emma Winkle was simply dominant in the circle on Sunday, allowing only one hit and one walk while striking out 12 Lady Wolves in five innings. Winkle was virtually untouchable in the entire tournament with a stat line for the three games of: 19 innings, 284 pitches, 0 runs, eight hits, 37 strikeouts, one walk, for a ERA of 0.00. Needless to say, Emma was named the Tournament MVP.
The Lady Engineers opened the game with emphasis as Junior shortstop Maci Muncie smashed the first pitch of the game to the right field fence for a lead-off triple. Senior center fielder Katie Johnson then executed a sacrafice bunt to score Muncie and put the Lady Engineers up 1-0.
Winkle retired the Lady Wolves in order in the both the bottom of the first and second setting the stage for the Lady Engineers in the top of the third. Muncie again sparked the offense with a lead off double. The flood gates then opened as the Lady Engineers would send 17 batters to the plate in the inning with the first 12 reaching base safely and each scoring. Johnson had two hits in the inning along with Sophomore Vana Newton, while Muncie, Senior Lauren Farmer, Winkle, Senior Neesa West, Senior Henlee Hunter, Sophomore Kylah Covey, and Freshman Jadelyn Neal each collected a hit in the inning. Muncie, Johnson, and Farmer each scored twice.
Estill went quitely in the top of the fourth and fifth.
Wolfe 8th Grader Abby Stone led off the bottom of the fifth with a double for the only Wolfe hit of the game but was stranded at second as Winkle struck out the final two Lady Wolves to end the game.
14th Region All-Tournament Team Link:
Estill will now face the 3rd Region Champion (Daviess County or Owensboro Catholic) in the Clark’s Pump-N-Shop KHSAA State Softball Tournament presented by UK Healthcare at John Cropp Stadium (UK Campus) in the 2:00 Game on Saturday June 4th.