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Campbell County returns to 10th Region baseball final; Cooper, Highlands win region softball openers

By Terry Boehmker
NKyTribune sports reporter

Campbell County will play in the 10th Region baseball championship game for the fifth straight season after getting past Montgomery County, 5-4, in the Wednesday night semifinals at Harrison County.

The Camels (29-9) will face tournament host Harrison County (30-8) in the region final at 6 p.m. Thursday with the winner advancing to the state tournament. The Thorobreds have won 14 straight games and 16 of their last 18 since a 6-4 loss to Campbell County on April 14.

Campbell County senior Evan Clark

Campbell County jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning against Montgomery County. The first run scored on a throwing error and then senior outfielder Evan Clark delivered a two-run single.

Montgomery County senior pitcher Matt Rowlett held the Camels scoreless for the next four innings and the Indians managed to tie the score, 3-3, in the top of the sixth.

The Camels got two runs in the top of the seventh to regain the lead. With runners on second and third, Clark got his third RBI on a ground out and Aydan Hamilton advanced to third.

On a grounder by Braden Kramer, Hamilton headed for the plate and beat the throw to make it 5-3. That turned out to be a big play because Montgomery County got a run in the bottom of the seventh.

With runners on second and third, Montgomery County senior Jack Blackburn ripped a single to right-center. The first base runner scored, but the second one was tagged out sliding into home plate to end the game.

Campbell County won back-to-back 10th Region titles in 2022 and 2021. Before the 2020 season was cancelled due to the pandemic, the Camels were region runner-up in 2019 and region champs in 2018.

Softball region tournament games

In the first two games of the 9th Region softball tournament on Wednesday, Cooper defeated Notre Dame, 7-3, and defending champion Highlands knocked off Villa Madonna, 18-0, in three innings.

Cooper pitcher Kendall Blau

That sets up a semifinal showdown between the region’s top two teams in the Ratings Percentage Index that had their regular season game rained out. Highlands (25-8) and Cooper (20-13) will face off at 2 p.m. Saturday at Highlands.

Cooper got 10 hits in the win over Notre Dame. The team leader was senior second baseman Emily Schmeltz, who went 3-for-4 with a home run and two RBI. Winning pitcher Kendall Blau had a pair of singles for the Jaguars, who lost to Highlands, 3-1, in the semifinals of last year’s region tournament.

Two local teams were eliminated in region semifinal games on Wednesday. Harrison County knocked off Campbell County, 11-5, in the 10th Region and Woodford County defeated Simon Kenton, 4-1, in the 8th Region.

Harrison County scored eight runs in the first two innings of its win over Campbell County. The Camels used three pitchers in the game and they gave up 13 hits, including two home runs, with five walks and only one strikeout.

Campbell County players had 10 hits with first baseman Emily Nadeau going 2-for-3 with a double, home run and three RBI. The Camels end the season with a 20-6 record.

Simon Kenton’s final record was 16-16. The Pioneers made it to the 8th Region semifinals for the first time since 2017.

Baseball region tournament

Championship: Harrison County vs. Campbell County, 6 p.m.

Softball region tournaments

Beechwood at Ryle, 5 p.m.
Newport Central Catholic at Dixie Heights, 5 p.m.
Saturday at Highlands
Winners of Thursday’s games, noon
Cooper vs. Highlands, 2 p.m.
Sunday at Highlands
Championship game, 2 p.m.

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