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By David Sharp
Knox County played two solid area teams within a run then beat Paris by a final score of 5-3 in the August 19, 2022 South Shelby varsity softball Jamboree. The contests were played on the new South Shelby High School softball and baseball artificial turf infield.
Westran scored the first run on an opening inning sacrifice fly. Knox County struggled to handle the softball at times during the first two contests. Jen Hinkle reached base in the bottom of the inning and advanced to third base.
Hinkle was called out for leaving third base too soon on a fly ball for the second out. Westran led 1-0 after the first inning. The second inning was scoreless. Kennedy Parrish walked off Westran pitcher Kylee Hayes in the top of the third, and final scheduled inning.
Agnes Reel drilled a two out RBI double, scoring Parrish. The game entered the bottom of the third inning tied at one run each. Brianna Miller sprawled to catch a Westran line drive at second base.
Brianna Miller doubled a runner off first base for a KCHS double play. Westran took advantage of Lady Eagle defensive miscue. Pinch runner Hadley Harvey scored the winning run on a wild pitch for a 2-1 win. Kennedy Parrish was the losing pitcher in her first high school softball game.
Knox County and host South Shelby played another one run contest. Kambryn Mitchell walked off KCHS starter Agnes Reel in the first inning. Mitchell scored on an error.
Jen Hinkle singled and scored on Agnes Reel second RBI double of the day, The score was tied at one run each after the first inning. Agnes Reel struck out the side in the Lady Bird second inning.
Cassidy Curtis scored the winning run in the second inning on a wild pitch. The game ended by the 30 minute time limit with South Shelby winning by a 2-1 margin. Knox County won their game with an improved Paris club by a 5-3 margin.
Knox County started a mix of youth and experience. Freshmen Kennedy Parrish and Myleigh Miller started at shortstop and third base respectively in the South Shelby game.
Agnes Reel and Kennedy Parrish are projected to trade between shortstop and pitching this season. Reel started the Westran game at short with Myleigh Miller on third.
The rest of the lineup was largely made up of returning starters. Jen Hinkle caught both games. Brianna Miller played second base and Bryston Miller was on first base. Bailey Bowen played center field. Shalee Zuccarini was in left field both games with Savanna Schrage in right field. Abby Becker batted in both games.
“I really think that Kennedy (Parrish) threw well in the first game,” Knox County coach Lauren Dale said. “Westran is a contact hitting team. I wanted to see how she would do against a contact team.”
“I thought she did really well being the first time out throwing this season,” Lauren Dale said of Kennedy Parrish. “I think our youth is going to show here and there. Whenever they settle in, they are going to be OK.”
“They play key roles. Shortstop and third base and big positions. Pitcher is even more of a key position. I think when they settle in and the nerves get taken out, they are going to be in a really good position.”
“I think Agnes (Reel) has a pretty good opportunity ahead of her,” Lauren Dale said. “I’m not convinced there are a lot of teams in our conference that can tee her up. That is saying something with the conference that we are in.”
“I think Agnes is going to grow into that position to be a strikeout pitcher,” Coach Dale said. “She is a smart pitcher. She will set herself up for success. Once we get our defense figured out, I think she is going to be one of the better pitchers in our conference.”
“South Shelby is a good team. They bunt a lot,” Dale said. “I thought she rose to the challenge. I think our youth showed through a little bit. That’s on me. I have got to prepare the girls better.”
“We are going to go back and we are going to get better on defense,” Lauren Dale said. “The next time we play South Shelby we will do better.”
Knox County plays their first game at North Shelby on Tuesday, August 30. The Lady Eagles play their second regular season game at Canton on Thursday, September 1. Both contests have 5PM first pitches.