Skip to content Skip to left sidebar Skip to right sidebar Skip to footer

Lady Trailblazers win district championship

After beating Science Hill 15-3 on May 11, the Lady Blazers of Daniel Boone High School retained the Big 8 district crown for the third straight season.
Entering the 2011 campaign, questions related to the youth and experience of the Lady Blazers surrounded the team.
With only one senior on roster — catcher Megan Walker ­— and the daunting task of replacing pitcher Cora Baker after her graduation last season, a “three-peat” was somewhat in doubt. Three months and 40-plus games later, any doubters have been silenced.
The 2011 success began and will end on the arm of junior pitcher Kellie Waycaster.
Waycaster has been the glue that has held the Lady Blazers together, guiding her team to win after win. Waycaster has put Baker’s past achievements in distant memory for the Boone faithful as she has compiled 24 wins and just two losses on the season.
And if the Lady Blazers are to make another run at the state title, it will likely be behind Waycaster’s relentless work in the circle.
After defeating Sullivan Central to open the district tournament on May 6, the Lady Blazers entered the double-elimination portion of the bracket.
Duncan, Waycaster lead
Boone past Tennessee High
Opening the second part of the district tournament on May 9 against Tennessee High, the Lady Blazers only needed six innings to rout the Lady Vikings, 11-1.
Waycaster allowed just one run behind five hits in the contest while the Boone bats lit up the scoreboard, combining for 13 hits.
Boone opened the home-half of the first with a run, but went scoreless in the second, holding to a 1-0 lead by the third.
Then the Blazers exploded, scoring five runs while summoning an end to Viking pitcher Tori Payne. Three Blazer runs in the sixth added to the two already scored in the fourth took the score to the 10-run mercy rule, putting an end to the contest after six innings.
No Boone batter had a better afternoon than Jennine Duncan, who finished a perfect 4-for-4 in the game, accounting for three Blazer runs. Andrea Rogers wasn’t far behind with a 3-for-4 day at the plate including RBIs in the first and third inning.
Waycaster helped herself in the batter’s box with two hits, one of which helped put her on base to score the final run of the game. Walker also accounted for two of Boone’s hits.
Blazers punch
ticket to regionals
Although the primary objective for any team in the district tournament is to advance its season to regionals, this year’s Big 8 bracket brought forth another goal for regular season co-champions Boone and Science Hill.
The Lady Blazers and Lady Hilltoppers both finished the regular season with a 13-1 conference mark, each loss coming at the hands of the other.
A district tournament championship for either school would signal a unanimous winner to stand alone at the top of the Big 8.
When the teams met on May 10 in the district tournament, the winner became a true conference champion while also earning a berth in the regional round. That winner was Boone.
With the Blazers holding a narrow 4-2 lead in the final inning, Science Hill put two runners in scoring position with only one out. Luckily for Boone, Waycaster was the game’s starting pitcher and was still in the circle after six strong innings.
The Blazer junior, unaffected by the base runners or the significance of the moment, retired the next two Hilltopper hitters, holding on for a 4-2 win.
Waycaster wasn’t as dominant as she usually is, allowing 10 hits and two runs over seven innings, but her performance was perhaps more noteworthy than any of her previous ones simply due to the fact that great pitchers are often measured by situation rather than statistics.
Waycaster got into several jams during the game, but worked her way through them to stifle the Science Hill bats when she needed to the most.
After allowing a run in the top of the first, Boone responded with two of their own as Duncan and Natalie Sheffey reached base. Rogers brought them home with a rope that dropped in the outfield.
Boone added two more runs in the third when Walker singled home Sheffey and Jessie Wheelock.
Science Hill’s pitcher Emma Martindale kept the Blazer bats quiet for the remainder of the contest, but Waycaster preserved the lead over the final four innings for Boone.
Blazers cap off tournament with dominant performance
After knocking the Hilltoppers into the loser bracket of the tournament, the Lady Blazers put an extra emphasis on their conference crown when the Hilltoppers beat Volunteer to advance to the final against Boone.
Even though the May 11 match up wasn’t the dramatic contest that had unraveled a day earlier between the schools, Boone solidified its dominance with a 15-3 shellacking of the Hilltoppers.
Waycaster once again returned to the circle, pitching five strong innings in a game cut short by the mercy rule.
The Boone bats needed just four innings to compile 15 runs against a sloppy Science Hill defense.
The Blazer offensive onslaught was led by Sheffey, who finished 2-for-3 on the day and Rogers, who blasted a two-run shot leading the offense in the third inning.
Waycaster was selected as the tournament’s most valuable player. Duncan, Rogers and Walker were also selected to the all-tournament team.
The Blazers now look to advance in the 1AAA regional tournament which was set to begin on Monday. Boone was set to host Seymour in the opening round with Science Hill and Jefferson County making up the rest of the four-team bracket. Winners from the opening games are scheduled to meet Wednesday in the championship.
Follow the Lady Blazers at the regionals in next week’s Herald & Tribune.