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Hamilton strikes out 13, hits homer as Owensboro Catholic advances in region tournament

May 29, 2022 | 12:04 am

Updated May 28, 2022 | 11:16 pm

Photo by Gage Johnson

Owensboro Catholic got a gem in the circle and a key home run from Brooke Hamilton on Saturday, helping them secure a 5-1 win over Muhlenberg County to advance to the 3rd Region Semifinals.

It was the Lady Aces who were able to get on the board first, as senior Camille Conkright reached on an error and then later scored on a throwing error shortly after. A pair of singles followed, but Owensboro Catholic couldn’t capitalize and took a 1-0 lead into the second.

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The Lady Aces put themselves in another good position to score in the top of the third, as a two-out double from junior Bailey Hamilton and a single by junior Brooke Hamilton led to runners in scoring position after Brooke advanced to second on a bad throw to third. But freshman Tyranda Stuart wasn’t able to capitalize, popping up to short to end the scoring threat.

However, with the way Brooke Hamilton was pitching at the time, it didn’t truly matter. Owensboro Catholic’s ace was locked in through the first three innings, striking out six and allowing no runs on one hit with her fastball overpowering the Lady Mustangs lineup.

“Really just everything [was working],” Hamilton said. “I pitched live at practice on Tuesday and really got everything going…[when I can locate my fastball] and when I can spin on it and get them swinging at the high ball it’s good.” 

But junior Josie Davis was having a solid start herself for Muhlenberg County, bouncing back from the rough first inning and allowing just the one run on four hits through three.

It wasn’t until the fourth that the Lady Aces were able to get to Davis again, as back-to-back two-out doubles from junior Abbie Dukate and senior Lilli Grant gave them a 2-0 lead. Meanwhile Brooke Hamilton kept dealing in the bottom half of the inning, striking out the side for the second time on the day to move her strikeout tally to nine.

The Lady Aces took advantage of their momentum in the top of the fifth, getting back-to-back doubles from junior Addison Tignor and Bailey Hamilton to add a run to Owensboro Catholic’s lead. But it was moments later that Brooke Hamilton helped herself at the plate, sending a missile over the left field wall to take a 5-0 lead into the bottom half of the fifth.

Davis did eventually get Muhlenberg County on the board in the bottom of the sixth with a two-out solo shot to left, but Brooke Hamilton was’t deterred in the circle and was able to limit the Lady Mustangs to the homer and secure the 5-1 win.

“Brooke pitched awesome,” Head Coach Jeremy Phelps said. “When you can get your pitching going and couple timely hits, that’s all it takes right there. You get confidence right there. After the first time through the lineup I think we made a couple adjustments and got better.”

Brooke tossed all seven innings for the Lady Aces, allowing one earned run on three hits, while walking one and striking out 13 en route to the complete-game victory. She led the way at the plate offensively as well, going 3-4 with two RBIs.

Bailey Hamilton had nearly the same statline, having just the one RBI while Grant also had an RBI on the day. Owensboro Catholic had gotten a number of two-out hits in the game thanks to a solid plate approach and Phelps credits that to timely hits and great pitching.

“The first couple of times we got a couple runners on, but we didn’t get that key hit,” Phelps said. “Then there was the two-out home run… Bailey got two big hits, kept the inning going and then the home run. All of a sudden, you start getting more confidence.”

The Lady Aces have a quick turnaround following the win, as they will look to secure a spot in the 3rd Region Championship when they take on Hancock County at 5 p.m. on Sunday. Brooke Hamilton says that as long as they prepare accordingly in the morning and stay locked in, they have what it takes to keep racking up the postseason wins.

“If we all show up, we all work hard, get our swings in and don’t take any swing for granted, put 100% into everything, then I think going forward as long as we keep the spirits up we have a good shot at going far in the region tournament.”

May 29, 2022 | 12:04 am

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