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Thursday, May 13, 2021

Wednesday Highlands Round-Up: Softball Defeats Campbell County

Boys Tennis Concludes Regular Season

Contributed Photo. Highlands senior Matthew Ericson (left) prepares to serve while senior Joss Finseth (right) gets in position in the match at North Oldham. Ericson and Finseth won the match, 3-6, 6-4, 10-1.

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The Highlands Bluebirds softball team (22-5 overall) had not forgotten the fact the county rival Campbell County Camels (8-8) had won the previous four meetings entering the season.

Barre3 Fort Thomas. 90 Alexandria Pike. 

The Bluebirds fell behind early to the host Camels, 4-0 after junior center fielder Bella Bastin hit a grand slam. But Highlands battled back to record a 7-4 victory.

This marked the second win of the season over the Camels. Highlands also bested Campbell County, 11-3 in three innings in the Bulldog Bash at Holmes on April 24.

Highlands sophomore pitcher Kennedy Baioni (11-2) recorded the complete game. Bainio struck out three, walked three and allowed 11 hits and four earned runs.

"We finally started hitting the ball in the third," said Milt Horner, Highlands Head Coach. "Kennedy wasn't her usual, sharp self, especially in the first three, four innings. She shut them out the rest of the way, which was good. Teams come out with a lot of intensity against us. We have to match that and hopefully, we're learning that."

The Bluebirds batted .433 (13-for-30) in the victory compared to .355 (11-for-31) for the Camels. Senior Bri Tharps led the way going 3-for-4 with a triple, two runs batted in, two stolen bases and a run scored.

Four other Highlands players had two hits. Seventh grader Payton Brown went 2-for-3 with a double and run scored. Freshman Michelle Barth, junior Anna Greenwell and sophomore Carly Cramer all went 2-for-4. Cramer doubled and had one RBI with Barth doubling and recording two RBI. Greenwell scored twice and stole two bases.

The Bluebirds stole seven bases and left six on base. Senior Caroline Class, Brown and junior Hailey Parks stole one base each.

"The key to successful base running is you have to be smart out there because opponents are looking to pick you off at any second to get an out," Parks said. "We've been practicing our base running making the players work more just doing everything we can to put our best foot out there."

Highlands does not play again until Saturday against Cooper (15-8) at Winkler Field. Game time is 10 a.m.

Tennis, Boys:
North Oldham 4, Highlands 1:

The Bluebirds concluded the regular season with an impressive 20-2 record despite the road loss.

"It was a good experience for the Bluebirds to go against a strong team like this," said Kris Laskey, Highlands Head Coach. "(North Oldham's) number one singles player will likely be a high seed at state. I'm proud of them for making history. I do not know that Highlands tennis had had a 20-win season in the past."

The second doubles team of seniors Matthew Ericson and Joss Finseth pulled off a 3-6, 6-4, 10-1 win for the lone Highlands win. The first doubles team of freshmen Eli Hornsby and Eli Back lost 6-2, 6-3.

"I think we learned we can always come back even if we're down by a lot," Hornsby said. "If we get things together, we can sometimes win it."

Senior Peter Laskey and junior Jacob Clifton lost 6-0, 6-0 in first and third singles respectively. Sophomore John Laskey nearly pulled out one in the first set losing 7-5, 6-1 at second singles.

The 9th Region Tournament will be held at Covington Catholic in a few days.

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