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Saturday, Aug. 27, 2016

Kelly Readies for Twin Rivers

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

The members of the District Championship Kelly varsity softball team
BENTON - The Kelly Lady Hawks softball team will host a Class 2 Sectional contest against District 1 winner Twin Rivers Lady Royals today at 4 p.m.

Kelly (23-6) made quick work of its district opponents by man-handling St. Vincent 11-1 in the semifinals and breezing past Crystal City 6-1 in the finals.

The Lady Royals (8-5) captured their district crown with a 4-0 shutout over the Greenville Lady Bears.

Kelly is a mainstay in the softball playoffs with 22 district championships. They've finished in third place four separate times, two fourth place finishes, a second place trophy and two state titles, with the most recent in 2004.

Twin Rivers' resume in the playoffs is not as polished as the Lady Hawks.

This season is the third district title for the Lady Royals with past titles in 1999 and 2001.

This season's version of the Lady Royals led by head coach Barb Cunningham is heavy on solid pitching from Carlee Vancil.

Out of 290 batters faced this season, Vancil has struck out 201.

Vancil has strikeout highs of 17, 16, 15, and 14 for Twin Rivers this season.

"I haven't seen Twin Rivers play this year but I have heard their pitcher throws the ball fast," said Kelly head coach Rhonda Ratledge. "We have been working in practice all week to get the girls to move their bats quickly through the hitting zone. Hopefully we can get some early hits and maybe rattle her a little bit."

Kayla Cunningham leads the Lady Royals in batting with a .565 average from her first base position.

Catcher Kelci Scott went 3-for-4 in the district final against Greenville and is a threat in the lineup.

Vancil had an RBI-triple for Twin Rivers in the final on a one-hopper off the outfield wall.

"We have worked hard all season for this opportunity and we are ready to go," said Kelly senior catcher Summer Proctor. "Every girl on the team wants this win. The seniors won state in 2004 as sophomores and we want to do it again. Winning a state title is the best feeling you can have in high school sports. The young girls are ready to go as well and we hope to put on a good showing."

Ratledge echoes the sentiments of Proctor.

"The girls are definitely ready to go and are pumped for the game with Twin Rivers," said Ratledge. "We have girls up and down the lineup with 20 or more RBIs and we feel our lineup is pretty potent. I guess we will see on Wednesday."