Magoffin County Downs Okolona in 16-U Regional Tournament Opener

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With a strong pitching effort from Chelsea Cole and some timely hitting, Magoffin County began its Ohio Valley National Regional Tournament appearance at Fern Creek on a successful note.

Cole, in a complete game effort, allowed just two earned runs on five hits as Magoffin County recorded a 5-3 victory Thursday over Okolona.

Cole, who also had two of her team’s seven hits and drove in one run, struck out five and walked four in her seven innings of work.

Second baseman and number two hitter Katie Shepherd banged out a pair of hits as well and scored twice.

Haley Barnett finished the game with two hits and a run batted in. She also scored a run while Brandi Jo Howard had one hit, a run batted in, and another scored.

Magoffin County, entering the tournament as a top seeded state champion, fell behind when Okolona plated an unearned run in the second, but bounced back with a three spot in the third and never trailed from that point on.

Julieann Helton got the third inning rally started by drawing a leadoff walk. She scored on a double off the bat of Haley Barnett, who went to third on a wild pitch and came on home when Brandy Howard grounded out.

With one out, Shepherd singled, advanced to second on a ground out, went to third on a wild pitch and scored on a passed ball, putting the local squad up 3-1.

Okolona, based in Louisville, tied the game with a pair of runs in the fifth, but again Magoffin County answered, scoring what proved to be the winning run in the home half of the fifth.

Brandi Howard ignited the fifth frame with a leadoff single and was followed by base hits off the bats of Shepherd and Cole. Both Howard and Shepherd scored, giving Magoffin County all the offense it would need to record the victory.