State Softball Tournament preview | Mercy Jaguars

State Softball Tournament preview | Mercy Jaguars

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State Softball Tournament preview | Mercy Jaguars

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MERCY JAGUARS

* Record: 23-13.

* Coach: Greg Meiners (first season, 11-7 record).

* State ranking: No. 10.

* State titles: One (2012).

* Last trip to State: 2014 (went 4-2, finishing in fourth place).

* 24th District scores: Beat Fern Creek 7-1 in semifinals and Bullitt East 1-0 in final.

* Sixth Region Tournament scores: Beat Pleasure Ridge Park 9-1 in quarterfinals, North Bullitt 8-1 in semifinals and Holy Cross 7-1 in final.

* Probable batting order: Jordan Vorbrink (Sr., 1B, .362 batting average, 32 runs, 29 RBIs, 16 stolen bases); Melissa Collins (So., RF, .290, 21 runs, 15 RBIs); Leigh Ellen Thomas (Sr., P, .419, 26 RBIs, 12 doubles); Abby Wilder (So., C, .312, 25 RBIs); Kasey Kinsey (Jr., CF, 28 runs, 11 RBIs, 20 SBs); Lexi Ray (Fr., 2B, .283, 13 RBIs); Sam Dykes (Sr., DP, .229, 6 RBIs); Jordyn Sanders (So., 3B, .256, 14 RBIs); Alexis Jones (Jr., LF, .289, 9 runs); Lexy Wright (Fr., SS).

* Top pitchers: Leigh Ellen Thomas (Sr., 17-9 record, 1.72 ERA, 207 strikeouts in 167 innings); Lexi Ray (Fr., 6-4, 1.51, 41 Ks in 65 innings).

* Notes: Meiners, a long-time assistant coach, replaced Jon Pont as head coach on April 19. … This is a relatively young Mercy team, with just three seniors (Dykes, Thomas and Vorbrink) on the roster. Thomas has signed with Tennessee Tech, Vorbrink with the University of Louisville. … The Jaguars are in the State Tournament for the fourth straight year, winning the title in 2012 and finishing third in 2013 and fourth last year.

* First-round game: Mercy will face No. 3-ranked and defending state champion Scott County (30-8) at 6 p.m. EDT Thursday. The teams split two meetings earlier this season, with the Cardinals winning 3-2 on May 2 and the Jaguars winning 6-4 in eight innings on May 12.

* Coach speak: “Our three seniors did a lot of heavy lifting early on, and now some of the younger kids are starting to come through in clutch situations,” Meiners said. “One thing that’s really helped Leigh Ellen is that our catcher (Wilder) has done a great job. A lot of times your pitcher is only good as the person who’s catching for her.”

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State Softball Tournament preview | Mercy Jaguars
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