Jun. 10—WILLIAMSBURG — After a three-year hiatus, the North Laurel Lady Jaguars are once again queens of the 13th Region.
North Laurel captured a state record 18th regional title after rallying past crosstown rival South Laurel with a 11-5 decision on a rainy Wednesday afternoon.
Doug Gregory's squad fell behind 2-0 before taking a 5-2 lead in the second inning. The Lady Cardinals tied the game at five apiece in the fourth inning before North Laurel took control with a six-run fifth inning.
The Lady Jaguars (18-13) have now won a region championship in 1995, 97, 98, 99, 00, 01, 02, 03, 07, 08, 09, 10, 11, 12, 15, 16, 17, and 21.
North Laurel will face-off against 11th Region champion Lafayette (30-8) on Friday during first round action of the KHSAA Fastpitch State Tournament. The game will be played at the University of Kentucky's John Cropp Stadium at 5 p.m.
The Lady Jaguars are making their first trip to the state tournament since 2017. They've compiled a 37-32 record during state tournament play, and their 37 wins rank third behind Owensboro Catholic's 67 wins, and Mercy's 38 wins.
South Laurel (22-13) struck first, rallying for two runs in the top of the first inning. Makayla Blair reached base on an error while Madison Worley followed with a run-scoring double to give the Lady Cardinals a 1-0 lead. Katie Jervis followed Worley's lead, and connected with another one-run double, pushing the Lady Cardinals' advantage to 2-0.
North Laurel answered in the bottom of the second with two runs scoring on an error while Emily Sizemore delivered a run-scoring single. Maddie Dagley and Saige McClure both followed with run-scoring doubles to give the Lady Jaguars a 5-2 advantage.
That's when the rain came and delayed the game for close to an hour.
South Laurel took advantage of the rain delay and refocused, scoring a run in the third inning and two more in the fourth inning.
A run-scoring double by Katie Jervis cut North Laurel's deficit to 5-3 while Chloe Taylor's run-scoring single in the top of the fourth made the score, 5-4. Gray delivered a double that scored Taylor, tying the game at five apiece.
The game didn't stay tied for long.
Hallie Proffitt's pop fly in the infield dropped in for a single, scoring Tyra Fields while Ellie Adams followed with a two-run single, increasing the Lady Jaguars' advantage to 8-5. Dagley helped her own cause with a run-scoring hit while Emily Sizemore scored on an error allowing North Laurel's lead to extend to 10-5. Makayla Mastin crossed home plate thanks to a wild pitch to make the score 11-5.
Dagley, the tournament MVP, took control of the game the final two innings, shutting down South Laurel's bats to lock up the Lady Jaguars' 18th overall region title (North Laurel played in the 12th Region from 1995 to 2005), and 10th 13th Region title which is a regional record with Middlesboro's seven ranking second.
Dagley led North Laurel with a two-hit, two RBI effort while Adams finished with a hit and two RBI. Bella Sizemore turned in two hit effort while Emily Sizemore, McClure and Proffitt each delivered a hit and an RBI apiece. Rick Collett finished with a hit. Dagley also picked up the win in the pitcher's circle, allowing eight hits, and three earned runs while striking out nine batters.
Jervis led South Laurel with a two-hit, two-RBI effort while Gray had two hits and one RBI. Taylor and Worley each finished with a hit and an RBI apiece while Blair and Baker each had a hit apiece. Gray took the loss, allowing nine hits and seven earned runs while striking out one batter.
Dagley, Collett, McClure and Emily Sizemore we're named to the All-Tournament team along with South Laurel's Madison Worley, Gray, and Taylor.