Mercy’s Lexi Ray and Bullitt East ace Taylor Roby battled it out in a pitchers’ duel Thursday night. When it was all said and done, Roby and the visiting Chargers walked away with a 1-0 win in a 24th District game.
“We’re trying to score runs; she’s a D-I pitcher for a reason,” Mercy head coach Greg Meiners said. “She knows what she is doing. She hits her spots really well. I also thought Lexi threw a good game tonight. It was good for us to see good competition. We knew it was a big game. We’ve had some trouble scoring. We got close to putting together some runs, but we can’t get over the hump.”
It was another storied game in a rivalry in which each of the past five regular-season matchups have been decided by one run. In 2014 and ’15, the Jaguars lost the regular-season game but came back and won the district title a month later.
Roby, a University of Louisville commit, pitched a complete-game five-hitter while striking out nine and hitting two batters for Bullitt East (18-1).
Ray also went the distance for Mercy (15-10) and gave up six hits while striking out 10 and hitting one.
“I mixed up all my pitches tonight – in and out, high and low,” she said. “I would get up 0-2 and I would mix up my pitch.”
Meiners was happy with how his sophomore pitched.
“I think she is gaining confidence,” the Mercy coach said. “I told her that we owe her three runs every game. If we score three runs, then we will talk about what she did wrong as a pitcher. But we can’t score and you can’t win if you don’t score.”
The Chargers scored the lone run in the third inning when Shelby Maros singled, stole second, moved to third on a grounder and scored on Roby’s chopper.
Mercy had its chances to get on the scoreboard.
In the third inning, Amber Reed’s failed suicide squeeze resulted in a double play. Ryan Hobbs got caught in a rundown between third and home plate on Jinhee Walsh’s grounder in the fifth.
And the Jaguars left the bases loaded in the seventh. Roby struck out freshman Mackenzie Newton to end the game.
“We’re not just giving them chances; we think they can do it,” Meiners said. “We have confidence in them. We had four freshmen come up to the plate in that last inning. It’s part of it. We didn’t get it done. … We are playing great competition and we’ve got to win. It’s not normal for Mercy to lose 1-0. We’re used to being the winners in a 1-0 game.”
Ray, Hobbs, Walsh, Jones and Taylor McGowan each had a hit for the Jaguars.
Maros led the Chargers with two hits. Roby, Hagan, Hannah Dahl and Lindsay Renneisen each had one.