BARDWELL -- Never in the history of Carlisle County athletics had a girls program come away with an All "A" title in any sport.
But history was made on Thursday night, when the Lady Comets somehow scratched out three pivotal runs and played solid defense behind a blossoming pitcher in Allie Blackwell to top Ballard Memorial 3-1 in the small-school regional championship.
"We just kept saying 'this is our year,'" CCHS coach Kevin Burgess said after the game. "And they kept believing that, even today. The girls were coming up to me saying, 'Hey, we've got this game.' They were confident enough."
Blackwell and Lady Bomber ace Shelby Hawes kept batters on their heels in what ended up being a gutty effort from both defenses. There were no extra-base hits and seven total hits: four from Ballard and three from Carlisle.
One crucial error was the difference.
In the bottom of the first, Hawes issued a rare walk to Maddie Martin, and she would advance on a fielder's choice before scoring on Christina O'Daniel's single up the middle.
The Lady Bombers would tie it in the top of the third when Shelby Elrod picked up her second hit of the game on a good bunt and later advance on a throwing error before coming in on a sacrifice fly from catcher Anessa Green.
The bottom of the third frame, however, Carlisle County snagged the lead for good. A leadoff infield single from Taylor Owens and a slap from Martin put two runners on to paths. They'd advance on a throwing error and then both score when Emily Newsome's grounder was misplayed near first base.
"We were lax on a couple of plays, and that's what hurt us," Lady Bomber coach Danny Leidecker said. "That hurt. Little plays like that are what haunt you, and that's what came back and got us."
No more hits were issued by either pitcher the rest of the way, as both the Lady Bombers and Lady Comets went silent on offense and full throes on defense.
And still, it was enough for an emotional title win and a group of girls driven by the tough loss to Murray in the 2016 All "A" Championship.
"We really wanted revenge on Murray because of how bad they beat us last year in the championship, so we just wanted to take that back," Martin said. "And tonight, we just kind of didn't want to lose it again because we had it last year."
Ballard Memorial 001 000 0 1 4 2
Carlisle Co. 102 000 0 3 3 3
WP: Blackwell, LP: Hawes
2B: none; 3B: none; HR: none
Top Hitters: BM-Elrod 2-4 (R); CC-Martin 1-2 (2 R), Newsome 0-3 (2 RBI)
Record: BM 11-5-1, CC 5-8
2017 All "A" Tournament Team
Audrey Frizzell (Hickman Co.)
Gracie Lusk (Hickman Co.)
Makenzie Turley (Murray)
Alexis Burpo (Murray)
Anessa Green (Ballard Memorial)
Jayde Newton (Ballard Memorial)
Shelby Hawes (Ballard Memorial)
Brittany Morris (Carlisle Co.)
Maddie Martin (Carlisle Co.)
Allie Blackwell (Carlisle Co.)
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