Pulaski shuts out Southwestern

Apr. 19—For the first time in the 2024 season, the Pulaski County Lady Maroons and Southwestern Warriors squared off on the softball diamond for crosstown bragging rights. With both teams riding winning streaks of some sort, and with both teams in the upper half of the standings in the 12th Region, it was sure to be a great matchup at the War Path.

However, this one was all Maroons from the first pitch. The Southwestern offense struggled to get any sort of solid contact on the ball and as a result was held to just two hits by starting pitcher Brooklyn Thomas. Pulaski ended up scoring 10 runs and shutout Southwestern 10-0.

Thomas led off in the top of the first and found a single to center, before Claire Hamilton was hit by a pitch, giving Pulaski two on. However, the defense of the Warriors clutched up and got three straight outs, including the final out on Thomas after a controversial call at third base. The bottom half was quick, as Thomas earned two strikeouts and sat down the Warriors in order.

A Shelbie Sellers single started off the top of the second, before walks on Rilee Ross and Maggie Gregory loaded up the bases for the Maroons with no outs. A Novaleigh Baker single to center scored two and gave Pulaski a quick 2-0 lead. Thomas hit to the pitcher for the second out of the frame, but also brought home Gregory from third. A wild pitch scored the fourth run before another ground out, giving Pulaski the 4-0 edge heading into the bottom of the inning. Thomas got three more strikeouts during the bottom of the second to quickly retire the side, but allowed Lexi Martin to become the first Warrior on base courtesy of a walk.

Sellers managed to get on base in the third after a two-out walk, with Ross also reaching after an error by Zoie Lowery. A fly out and great catch by Jordyn McDonald ended the visitors' half of the inning. Again, it was a quick bottom of the frame, as Thomas sat the side down in order with the final batter striking out.

Avery Davis was allowed to reach in the fourth with one out after an error by Kylie Dalton. This set up a two-run home run by Thomas, who was everywhere in this game, that soared over the wall in center field, giving her team a 6-0 lead. After the Warriors changed pitchers to Abigail Whitescarver, Ryann Sowder was walked to give Pulaski two runners with two outs. A ground out ended any more hopes of scoring. Following another strikeout from Thomas, Brynn Troxell was walked before Whitescarver was allowed to reach base on an error, giving the Warriors a prime chance at scoring. Unfortunately, Whitescarver was soon out at first and a fly ball ended the fourth without a score for the home team.

Gregory was able to reach base after being hit by a pitch with one out in the fifth, with Baker hitting a single soon after. Both runners were allowed to advance into scoring position on an error. Whitescarver struck out the next batter before Thomas was intentionally walked, loading up the bases. A walk on Hamilton scored one before a fly out got the Warriors out of the jam, although the Pulaski lead had increased to 7-0.

Martin walked for the second time in the game before Southwestern finally got their first hit of the ball game, a one-out single from Arabella Lowery on a pop fly to center. The Warriors had their best chance to score after Hanah Ellis was walked with just one out, loading up the bases. A fly out was followed by yet another timely strikeout from Thomas, ending the threat of a score there.

Sowder smacked a single to lead off the top of the sixth, before a one-out walk on Ross gave the Maroons two base runners. The Warriors quickly retired the side as Dalton was able to convert the double play. Thomas made fast work in the bottom of the frame, as she threw just eight pitches to retire the side as Southwestern faced an uphill battle to get back into this one with just one inning left.

Baker was walked to start the seventh, before she was replaced by Davis after a fielder's choice. A Thomas single gave Pulaski two base runners again, before a error by the Warriors allowed Hamilton to reach base and brought home Davis to give Pulaski another run. A two-RBI single by Bella Ellis gave Pulaski a 10-0 lead. Sowder was able to single before the Warriors finally sat down the Maroon offense to give themselves one more shot at a comeback.

Thomas began the bottom of the inning with two straight strikeouts, putting Southwestern down to their final out. Arabella Lowery singled again before another walk on Ellis gave the Warriors two on with two away. A fly-out to Davis ended the contest though, as Pulaski had soundly defeated their rivals 10-0.

Thomas led the way for the Maroons with three RBI's on a 3-4 night at the plate with a home run. Hamilton, Ellis and Baker each had two RBI's in the contest as well. Davis stole two bases, with with Thomas and Sellers each adding one. Thomas threw a complete game shutout on the mound, allowing just two hits with five walks and 10 strikeouts.

Arabella Lowery had the lone two hits for the Warriors. Troxell, Danielle Taylor and Makenna New each stole a base in the loss. Jayla Singleton had the start on the mound and earned the loss, pitching three and one-third innings while allowing six runs on four hits with four walks. Whitescarver pitched the remaining three and two-third innings, allowing four runs on five hits with five walks and one strikeout.

Pulaski improves to 12-4 and will travel to Casey County on Friday, before taking on Franklin County and West Jessamine on the road on Saturday.

Southwestern falls to 12-6 and will welcome in South Laurel on Friday, before traveling to Wayne County on Monday evening.

Jacob Pratt is the Sports Editor of the Commonwealth Journal and can be reached at